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Founder: Blackwater 'very easy whipping boy' in Iraq war

Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:51 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The former owner of security contractor Blackwater Inc. blames the company's fall on groups looking for a scapegoat for civilian deaths in the Iraq war.

Eric Prince said the company he founded was a "very easy whipping boy" for those opposed to the war, ABC News reported Sunday.

The company in McLean, Va., became the focus of controversy in September 2007 when a team of Blackwater members fired on about three dozen Iraqi civilians while coming to the aid of another Blackwater team. At least 11 people were killed, including a 9-year-old boy. Some of the team members are facing manslaughter charges from the incident.

Speaking to Martha Raddatz on ABC's "This Week," Prince said, "If the amount of scrutiny paid to that event was paid to every other shooting of any U.S. forces or other contractor forces, it would tie up the Justice Department for the next decade. War is dangerous. It is difficult, and unfortunately, civilians get killed."

He declined to apologize for any anti-American sentiments the killings may have stirred, saying "the company did exactly what it was asked to do. It did it well. Every diplomat, bureaucrat and member of Congress that visited Iraq came home alive under our guys' care."

Prince sold the company in 2010 to a group of private investors who renamed it ACADEMI.

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