Levin Catches Blackwater in Contracting Lie
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) got Fred Roitz of Blackwater — sorry, “Xe Services,” the new name for the company — to say that Blackwater shell company “Paravant” came into existence shortly before “Paravant” got a subcontract from defense giant Raytheon to train Afghan security forces. But then Levin read from the contract submission: “Paravant has many years of experience identifying and selecting top candidates for training.” How could that possibly be true? Levin asked.
Roitz first tried to parry that the language referred to “recruiting and vetting functions service [within] all the companies” controlled by Blackwater. Levin wasn’t having it: “Your proposal says something that is not true.” Roitz backed down, saying the proposal “could have been better worded.” Levin rejoindered that Roitz’s answer could have been better worded. Finally, when Levin kept pressing him that Paravant’s claim of “years of experience” could not in any straightforward way be true, he conceded, “That is true.”
But not before he pointed his finger at Raytheon. “Raytheon specifically knew who in fact they were contracting with,” Roitz said. “They did not want to name Blackwater.” Levin pressed: Who at Raytheon told him that? “I don’t know.”
I have a call out to Raytheon officials on this; let’s see what they say.
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