Daily archives: December 11th, 2009

C.I.A. Drops Blackwater

The C.I.A. has finally terminated ties with Blackwater.


From the New York Times:

The Central Intelligence Agency has terminated a contract with the security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide that allowed the company to load bombs on C.I.A. drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, intelligence officials said Friday.

The contract gave employees with the company an operational role in one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most significant covert programs, which has killed dozens of militants with Predator and Reaper drones. The company’s involvement highlighted the extent to which the C.I.A. had outsourced critical jobs to private companies since the 9/11 attacks.

The contract with the company, now called Xe Services, was canceled this year by Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, according to a C.I.A. spokesman. In August, The New York Times first revealed the existence of the contract, which was run by a division of the company called Blackwater Select, which handles classified contracts.

George Little, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that Mr. Panetta had ordered that the agency’s employees take over the jobs from Xe employees at the remote drone bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that Mr. Panetta had also ordered a review of all contracts with the company.

“At this time, Blackwater is not involved in any C.I.A. operations other than in a security or support role,” Mr. Little said.

This is Friday night news. Many times, unpopular news is released on Fridays to downplay the prime time media blitz. This release happend to come just after the NYTimes reported that Blackwater employees had joined C.I.A. operatives in secret operations during the Bush II administration.

Good riddance.

Read more.

Todd Stroger Doesn’t Like Them Poll Numbers

From the Sun-Times:

Embattled Cook County Board President Todd Stroger blasted a new poll showing he’s in third place in the four-way race for his job.

A Tribune poll of what has been described as 500-plus likely voters shows Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown leading the pack in next month’s Democratic primary with 29 percent of the vote followed by Chicago Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) at 20 percent. Stroger is next with 14 percent and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O’Brien garnered just 11 percent.

“I think it is inaccurate,” Stroger told the Sun-Times today.

“I’ve been here for three years. The Tribune has been trying to sink me for all three years. So I can have a balanced budget when everybody else is struggling, I can keep the hospital system open. I can help 25,000 people change their mortgages and keep their homes, but that’s not good enough,” Stroger said, using an all-too-familiar refrain about how the media is biased in its coverage of him.

Well, that’s one way to handle bad numbers: deny they exist.

Unless Stroger pulls a George W. Bush and fixes the election, I don’t see him surviving the primary.  He certainly does not have my vote. I’m leaning toward Dorothy Brown right now.

I’m looking forward to writing about “former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.”

Tiger Woods To Take ‘Indefinite’ Leave From Golf

From WTAE Pittsburgh:

Tiger Woods is taking an indefinite leave from professional golf to work on saving his family, using the word “infidelity” for the first time in a statement posted on his Web site.

Woods says he is aware of the disappointment that “my infidelity” has caused to his wife and children. He says he might not be able to repair the damage, but he wants to try.

We wish he and his family well.