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Army Contract Overseer Didn’t Check That Paravant Was a Blackwater ‘Shell’

In an interview with Senate staff, former Paravant vice president Brian McCracken said that the only reason a company called Paravant ever existed was because

Madihah Walls
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Feb 24, 2010

In an interview with Senate staff, former “Paravant” vice president Brian McCracken said that the only reason a company called Paravant ever existed was because Blackwater wanted a piece of Raytheon’s contract with the Army to train Afghan security officials — without the “baggage” of the Blackwater name. (You know, like killing Iraqi civilians.) So Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) asked Steven Ograyensek, the contracting officer at an Army office responsible for overseeing the contract, whether he had any idea Paravant was part of Blackwater. There was “no indication” of that relationship in Paravant’s bid for the Raytheon subcontract, Ograyensek replied. Yet it took Senate staff a fairly short time to determine Paravant was a shell company for Blackwater.

Did Ograyensek even check Paravant’s references? “We didn’t call those references,” he said. “That was the responsibility of Raytheon.” Your contracting oversight at work.

“Paravant had never done anything,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) interjected. “But they represent in their [request for the contract] that they had 2000 personnel deployed overseas. They had no one. … It’s just a shell.”

Madihah Walls | Madihah Walls is an author who specializes in carriages, corsets, and smartwatches. Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist have all given her books starred reviews. Courtney earned a master's degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley before turning to romance writing. She then went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude, only to shake things up. After that, she did a few clerkships. She used to be a law professor. She is now a full-time writer.

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