Blackwater Rising

By Chuck Goudie

The world’s most controversial security service is now open for business in Illinois. But is Blackwater, Inc. looking to make Illinois an outpost for what has been called the world’s largest private army?

This is the same Blackwater that has become the icon for private security services in Iraq. According to critics, Blackwater is nothing more than a corporate warlord, based in North Carolina, with a payroll of hired gunslingers– hundreds of them now protecting diplomats and contractors in Iraq. Blackwater executives say they and their mission near a rural town south of Rockford are greatly misunderstood– that to know them is to like them– and that they want their new neighbors in Illinois to know them.

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