Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two: Blackwater's Erik Prince Wrote A Book About How Much He Sucks

Part Two: Blackwater's Erik Prince Wrote A Book About How Much He Sucks

Thu, 27 Sep 2018 10:00

Part Two: Blackwater's Erik Prince Wrote A Book About How Much He Sucks

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The one you feed explores how to build a fulfilling life, admits the challenges we face. We share manageable steps to living with more joy and less fear through guidance on emotional resilience, transformational habits, and personal growth. I'm your host, Eric Zimmer, and I speak with experts ranging from psychologists to spiritual teachers, offering powerful lessons to apply daily. Create the life you want. Now listen to the one you feed on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey guys, I'm Kaylee short on my podcast. Too much to say. I share my thoughts on everything from music to martinis, social media, social anxiety, regrets to risky text, and so much more. I have been known to read my literal diary entries on my show, and sometimes I do interviews with my crazy group of friends. So if you guys want to tune in, you can hear new episodes of too much to say every Wednesday on the national podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to them. Hi, everybody. I'm Robert Evans and this is a good behind the ********. This is part two of our of our episode on Eric Prince. And with me in the studio today is miles. How are you doing, miles? I'm good. I am great and I'm just. I'm itching to know more about Eric Prince because the first round first episode, first part, which was like six months ago. Yeah, but I still remember most of it and I it's it's a testament to. The American spirit, that's a thing. It's a testament to that. Among other things, it's a testament to being born with hundreds of millions of dollars. Yeah, testament to all of that stuff. Well, what have you been up to in the last six months? Last six months? I don't really care. OK. What's your guess as to what Eric Prince has been getting up to? I'm going to if I'm a bet gambling man and I like to gamble, I'll go with a safe bet. And I'm just going to say crimes against humanity, just in general. War crimes, yes. I mean, OK, absolutely has. He has been a part of some war crimes that have been committed recently, which we'll talk about later, but more interestingly, I guess I should be more pointed. Do you want to guess as to what Eric Prince has bought since you and I talked? So last time he tried to make that his homemade ******* fighter jet and that went did not work out well. So what's easier? Probably boats. And knowing how Betsy DeVos loves her yachts, you know, it only makes sense that brother Eric is going to be like, let me turn this ship up just within the last few weeks he purchased or we'll get into what he did later. But he basically purchased, quote, 3 high speed catamarans armed with electronically aimed and fired machine guns and cannon, 3 trimarans armed with heavy machine guns and cannon and drones which could be armed. They are equipped with military grade surveillance radars and high speed semi rigid inflatable boats that can be used to launch commandos and boarding parties from the larger ships. Wow. Wait, what was the second kind of boat? You said a trimaran. What is that? It's just it's a boat of some sort and it has a lot of guns on it, right? I don't know much about boats, but he bought two different kinds of boats with a **** load of guns on them. Can you show me a picture of a catamaran and trimaran, Sophie? Perfect. Just so I can wrap my head around because what's it isn't a catamaran? Like when I think of a catamaran, I don't think of like a a warfaring boat. I I'm I assume there are. I mean, I think it's a basic depth of broader definition, like a type of boat and they just armored this one and put some guns on it. Yeah. Yeah. Our area. Yeah. So Eric Prince has a. OK. So it is a thing with like the three. OK because, yeah, the catamaran is like the two piece thing where you see people like we're in San Tropez and I'm laying on this net in between. It's it's the boat equivalent of. Those spaceships in Cloud City and Bespin. Bespin. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, it's like that, right? I think, which is so funny. Like, it's still very like waspy, like old money, like a catamaran. Except for war. Yeah, well, he in a little bit of defense to Eric. He didn't. He didn't just go buying armed catamarans. He bought the Navy of Mozambique. Yeah, yeah. So great rates over there. Well, yes, because their their economy collapsed recently because their entire country got taken in by a giant con scam thing. Basically, they they wanted to modernize their tuna harvesting fleet and needed like a loan for $800 million, right. Which which they got in, which the people of Mozambique were like, yeah, sure, modernize the tuna harvesting fleet will all make more money. But the government, working with shadowy foreign interests, secretly took out an extra $1.2 billion in loans that they used to buy a Navy and they lied about it. And so with an extra one, yeah. So the first thing is we need 800 million for the tuna. For the tuna. And they're like, you know, it's it's a seabound nation you buy, then you secretly borrow even more than what you buy a Navy. What the ****? OK, so they bought this Navy secretly and then and lied about it and but once they bought it, they'd spent all of their money. So they didn't have enough money to man the Navy, which they were planning to. They were planning to lease the Navy to a private corporation that would then. Basically be a four profit Navy based in Mozambique. So they wanted to shipping Airbnb. They're ******* neighborhood. That was the plan. Yeah, just like in the black on this thing. But they just didn't they they couldn't actually run the Navy and the whole venture sort of collapsed and somehow Eric Prince wound up in control of it now. It's weird because the first source I found this from was a website that's new to me called Spiked News, which bills itself as an outlet for stories that have been buried or crushed by the daily median noise. So I was a little bit like, is this some fake news ********? So I looked around and I was able to find other sources on the article that were a little bit less direct than spiked had been, but said basically the same thing. So I'm going to quote from this Bloomberg article called Eric Prince to partner with Mozambique hidden debt companies, which OK, that sounds above board hidden debt companies is one of those are the companies that helped members of the Government of Mozambique take on more loans than the country could afford than bankrupted the nation. Yeah, hidden debt company will always. Sounds terrible. Yeah, to make that, yeah. And these are the people Eric is working with. So Blackwater Security founder Eric Prince will partner with at least one of the state owned Mozambican companies at the center of a hidden loan scandal that resulted in the country defaulting on its debt. This year Prince, chairman of the Hong Kong based Frontier Services Group, is forming a joint venture with the tuna fishing company and Matam and May extend this to assisting the Southeast African nation with maritime security. Yummy. I wonder if Eric Prince has a Navy now? Sounds like it sounds like. Yeah, at least renting and yeah, exactly. He's like, I don't want to go that. I'm not doing that. Well, I'm, I'm rent, I'm leasing a Navy and he's, he's doing some counterterrorism stuff for the country. So it sounds like he has found a country, ******* quotes counterterrorism, whatever that is. He's he's doing something shady in Mozambique and really as a Navy. So that's good. That's really nice. Yeah. Anyway, we're all caught up. Other than the the *************. He bought it. It's like we bought a zoo, but with war machine. I know he bought a catamaran and trimaran with no six of six of three. Three Catamaran 3 and plus drones, plus little skiff. So you can you can just have boarding parties. Yeah, because Eric Prince should have more commandos. It worked. Well, the last part. We can figure out it's the getting around the international laws that prohibit private people from owning military hardware. He's mastered yeah he's he's really he's like he's focused. He's focused. If anything this is a man who said I will have some kind of my own military Army Air Force. I want my own militaries, right. And he's got, he's got his he's got his ground goons. He's got the ground game worked out now he couldn't couldn't figure out the skies. Now take him to the sea. So he's he's in the sea. Yeah. And that's that's where Eric Prince is now. So now that we're all cut up, I would like to talk to you about the book that I just read this week. OK? It's called civilian warriors, the inside story of Blackwater and the unsung heroes of the War on Terror. First of all, based on everything we're talking about, last time, to call some of these people ******* unsung heroes. Holy. Well, the people who saw their heroics couldn't sing because they were too busy screaming, right? Because Blackwater was firing grenades into a crowd, right? And they're like, I'm sorry, man, I haven't, haven't let this thing. So obviously the author of that book is Eric Prince. Well, and some other guy. Clearly Eric Prince outlined it and some other dude filled out the writing right whoever, the ghostwriter, but he's credited as the author. It's exactly the kind of self-serving autobiography you would expect from a billionaire whose companies companies have been tied to more war crimes than several s s battalions. So let's just dive into the introduction of this gives Eric a chance to layout his beliefs on the War on Terror in brief. So yeah. Western governments continue to struggle to find real solutions to these crises. They have spent trillions of dollars during that Cold War preparing the mightiest of hammers. But when you have a magnificent hammer, everything looks like a nail. So this is the problem. He's accurately identified the problem the US military has with counterinsurgents. Right? Right. Because we do have a really great hammer, and we're not dealing with nail problems. That's fair. You get a penis implant and you're like, how do I not **** with this thing? Yeah, but then you wind up in the wall of Peanut hall of penises. Yeah. And so your penis is just useless. Yeah. Yeah. So yes, that's the situation. That's a fine analogy to the current military strategy. And everything is phallic. Yeah. It's it's funny to me that he's he's diagnosing the shortcoming and attributing it to the US military that their problem is that they have a great hammer. And so everything looks like a nail because all Eric has ever done in his entire life is build hammers. But he he seems to think that what his people do is different and more suited to the War on Terror than what the US military. Because they don't have rules, yeah, well, the hammer of traditional forces lacks the nimbleness and fiscal efficiency of either small active duty units or contracted special forces. Even more troubling, traditional forces can inflamed the situation instead of pacifying it. Instead of pacifying, instead of pacifying it. What colorful language? I love that. Yeah. And I love it because if there's one thing Blackwater absolutely has done everywhere it's operated. It's inflamed the situation. We pacified it. Well, that's what they say, right? I mean, I would say Army Colonel Peter Mansoor said this about Blackwater. If they push traffic off the roads or if they shoot up a car that looks suspicious, they may be operating within their contract, but it is to the detriment of the mission, which is to bring people over to our side. There's also another quote I found in a textbook. US domestic and international regimes of security by army Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, who said armed contractors do harm counterinsurgency efforts. Just ask the troops in Iraq. So there's a lot of military people who have served alongside Blackwater were like, these guys don't help the effort in any way. Just like that nepotism, like where suddenly your boss is like, nephew shows up to work and it's ******* useless, but it's like the boss had extra money. It's like, just give it to this guy ******* well, it's a mix of like the boss had extra money, but also like. Boy, we only have half as many troops as we need to do the job, and these guys don't count as humans legally. Like, we don't have to report that they exist or die, right? It's a whole mess. So Eric has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder about the fact that, you know, he had to sell his company Blackwater and it had to be renamed and you know, there were all those murders. Yeah, wreckers and yeah. Well, here's how he sums that all up. After failing in their multi year effort to win hearts and minds in Iraq, the bureaucrats decided a company that had repeatedly answered this government's pleas for help with suddenly more valuable as a scapegoat. I was strung up so the politicians could feign indignation and pretend my men hadn't done exactly what they paid us handsomely to do. Wow, what a world view. I love it because, like, the major incident that led to him losing Blackwater was a bunch of his guys firing into a crowd, right? And it was like a protest, right? No, it was just a traffic circle. One of them panicked and they just fired into a fight and there was, like, no explanation and there weren't really any weapons present and no one coming fire whatsoever. No, they just massacred 14 people. And he's like, it's the politicians trying to make me look bad. Maybe if your people. Getting the shot for and then there was that guy who drunkenly shot the vice president of Iraq, Security guard and rain zone. There was a lot of stuff. Those guys who crashed an armored vehicle, right? Hammered. They were drunk, right? It's just the party crew, Blackwater. Those do sound like some fun parties. I mean, in the scariest way where you're like, I mean these guys know what they're doing with their guns, but I feel like it's going to get weird suddenly, you know? Yeah, they don't sound fun to drink with getting drunk and having an armored vehicle to tool. Yeah, sounds like a ship, but not in like an environment where there's the possibility that they would have to be like have some kind of like situational awareness around you. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyway, if you're a company that makes armored vehicles, we're open for sponsorships. I would love to crash 1 drunkenly and just a drunken your BearCat and ride it right into a ******* wall and show how strong it is, how sturdy that armor is. Yeah, so Princess book is surprisingly anti military. He's very careful about it because obviously he's a conservative. Dude, and you can't say the military is not heroic, but he he's picked specific officers who have said bad things about his soldiers and tries to discredit them. And he regularly talks about how often the US military screws up and jobs that Blackwater is also present at and usually will, like, point out how much better the Blackwater contractors arrive. Like, there's a picture in his book. Like, I guess at some point John Kerry and some other congressmen were visiting Afghanistan and their helicopter was like grounded on like a ******* mountain peak or some ****. The picture looks like they're a mountain peak. And they. They got had to get rescued and the team that came in and got them was Blackwater stuff. And Eric Prince was like, but he thanked U.S. soldiers and not Blackwater contractors. It's like, well, he was probably thinking the US soldiers who guarded him up on the top of that mountain for hours, right? Not the tow truck guys, not the tow truck guys, whatever. Anyway. So yeah, Princess book is surprisingly anti military. He also cites the failure in rebuilding Afghanistan and sort of ignores the fact that that effort to rebuild Afghanistan was mainly. Carried out by private companies. Yeah. I was gonna say yeah. Yeah. Well, again, yes. So here's a quote from his his book on Afghanistan that I think is is relevant considering some of his more recent plans for Afghanistan. Witness the totally failed economic development of the Afghan economy after nearly 13 years of U.S. special forces on the ground, the aid community spent billions in debt and boondoggles while ignoring the mineral and energy sectors that could make Afghanistan an independent nation instead of a welfare case. Oh, wow. What do you think about that? I mean, it sounds like there was some stuff to pillage. Yeah. Whoa, you are right on. I mean, that's what that sounded like he's like. Yeah, guys, there's just ******* money in there. There's a lot of money in the ground in Afghanistan. It would be really great if there was, like, some sort of outside document that we could look at that would give us a better idea of what Eric really meant when he started bringing up Afghanistan's mineral and energy wealth. Oh, hey, it turns out, it turns out he's been shopping his plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan around DC. And BuzzFeed actually got a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that Eric's using to try and sell his privatize the war in Afghanistan plan, which is doing quite well, isn't it? Probably. Probably going to have what I hear in the news constantly. It's like that's always on the horizon and always being, you know, promoted at least from the Trump. Let's talk about that. His his slide show is titled an exit Strategy for Afghanistan, a test case for the strategic economy of force. Why don't just call it an exit plan for Afghanistan? Just give it to me. Well, there's a reason that he made sure the word economy. Was in there, right, right. Yeah. And we're about to get into that, so. It turns out there's a whole slide on this slide show about the rare earth minerals that are present in the Helmand province. And Eric makes a big point of the fact that there's an estimated $1 trillion in rare earth minerals in the ground in just this one province of Afghanistan. Wasn't there a lot of fighting in the Helmand province? Oh, you betcha. Like, I feel like that's the one province you would was, like, repeatedly referred to. I mean, it's possible at least one one portion of there's debate between, like, what the US military says. Is controlled in Afghanistan. And what the Taliban controls, there's debate between them, but they they probably, there's a good chance they control some like 60% of the country right now. So anyway, yeah that map looks pretty, looks pretty juicy. It's interesting that he's really specifying how many rare earth minerals are inside Helmand province in this I I wonder what he intends to do right, these minerals. Well, in the slide show he states that he states that under his plan the military effort in Afghanistan will be quote strategic mineral resource extraction. Funded Prince believes that this will break the quote negative security economic cycle of the war in Afghanistan. So? So we'll dig up the where earth minerals and self fund while we just destroy the earth there. Yeah. So Eric Prince essentially wants to make Afghanistan take Afghanistan from an expensive peacekeeping operation by the United States to a profitable rare earth mineral selling corporate endeavor. There's no talk or hint about how this might make life better for African people. He's doing like rich war criminal, poor war criminal where it's like, it's about passive income guys, yeah, a Prince Company spokesperson said to BuzzFeed when they asked them about this quote. What is laid out in the slides as a model of an affordable way for the US to stabilize a failed state where we are presently wasting American youth and 10s of billions of dollars annually? So they're basically climbing onto the fact that pretty much everyone is like, yeah, it's dumb that we're still in Afghanistan. Super. We're not. And he's like saying people like, it's some that we're in Afghanistan, we should leave. He's saying it's dumb that we're in Afghanistan. You should give it to me so that I can mine it. Right. Exactly. That's all I'm interested in because, like, there is one I can see like on the face of it. Right. Because since the Iraq war in Afghanistan, like, that has just been a money pit that has just been led to the accelerated decline of the American Empire, right. Like it's sort of these late what Afghanistan does, baby. But it's like, but it follows that trend of like. All historical empires, like, they get into these, like glamour wars that end up bankrupting the country or whatever. More often than not, the war is in Afghanistan, right? Yeah. And then so on. One particle. Yeah. Well, it is kind of a money pit. And that's all money that could have been spent in the US on things like education, healthcare, could really use some bridges. Yeah. Right. But, you know, let him mine it is. Let him mine it. He's in mining. He's can find a guy. Yeah. So I'm pretty sure he can handle some mining up the homies at Rio too if he can make the see his mistress, right? So yeah, interestingly enough, Eric Princess stated inspiration for his ******* sweet idea seems to be the East India Tea Company. Wow. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Wall Street Journal let him write an opinion article in May of 2017. The article was titled the MacArthur Model for Afghanistan. But further into the article he cites our favorite corporation, which if you haven't listened yet. He did an episode on the East India Company. They conquered India in the 1700s and starve 20 or 30 million people to death through negligence. Yeah, and they also invaded Afghanistan, which is why they went bankrupt in interesting stuff. Anyway, here's Eric. An East India company approach would use cheaper, private solutions to fill the gaps that plague the Afghan security forces, including reliable logistics and aviation support. So. Bold. Bold of Eric Prince. To directly cite a company that was destroyed conquering Afghanistan. Right, right, right, right. Yeah. Yeah. You know, maybe maybe it'll be different. Maybe it'll be different this time. I know that. OK, wrong example like this. Is there something about Afghanistan that makes powerful rich white men with armies stupid? I don't like? Is there like a you telling me a magical effect that it has? I don't. I don't know, because it keeps happening. Did they all know? Did the Soviets know the resources that were there back then? Yeah, but that's not even why they. Yeah, but that wasn't the motivation to support a government that was socialist. Like they lost money there. We lost money there. The British Empire fought 3 or 4 wars there and bleed itself dry there. Like. Nobody wins in Afghanistan. Afghanistan might just be, like, where God lives, you know? I mean, where? It's like, don't come in here, bro. This is my house. Like, watch this. Who's next? I'll take all your money anyway, according to the Atlantic. So Eric hasn't been forthcoming on most of the details of his plan. But according to the Atlantic and some other sources, we know that he wants a viceroy to run the whole operation. He compares this person to a bankruptcy trustee who would have full control over hiring and firing US personnel in country. Mentors would be embedded into Afghan units. These would be men. Any country, according to Prince quote, with a good rugby team. So British Australians. Any country with a good rugby team captains? Could be the crude his mercenaries to mentors, yeah wait? Why why the rugby. I don't know that's weird right, yeah, he's like I love rugby union rugby. Guys are good at war OK, so New Zealand. South Africa, New Zealand. Super good at war. Famously yeah, I mean, I think South Africa is probably more South Africa makes more. He's going to get a lot of our South African guys. Some crooks out there, but they can also play rugby. Yeah, now interestingly enough. Eric Prince also wants a composite air wing to help the Afghan Air Force in other words. This viceroy would have his own private Air Force working alongside the Afghan Air Force. So with his with his proposal, if they were to be like, OK, here are the keys, then they would have, they would loosen laws to allow this viceroy to then finally have the job. He's got to have an airport, right course, of course got to have air superiority. And so Eric Prince would mine Afghanistan's minerals and use it to buy himself an Air Force, which he would then use to bomb the Afghan people. It is. It's like a literal, parasitic relationship. It's I'm. Honestly, he's the most respectable person close in the orbit of the Trump administration right now because you got to give one thing to Eric Prince. He is persistent, right like he wants an Air Force and he's really putting in the groundwork to do it. He's he's just leasing that Navy just to get over the ******* the voice of his Air Force just even though I have that. It's about the about having an Air Force. I there's something not respectable but like no I mean I guess objective if you removed. All the actual details that made it about war and killing and things like that, and just about one person who has a dream and the, you know, just whatever he has to overcome that he's going to do. Yeah. And that's something that that's all I'll say. That is something. It is something that is something at the core of his being that makes him at least interesting. You do have a great Eric Prince is my God T-shirt on. I wear that a lot, actually. Yeah, I was going to try and read it. He's this guy that lives down the street from me, and I'm trying to anyway. He's really good at running ads. Yeah, ads. Yeah. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. The story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. A story about the man who simply become known as La Monster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up you guys? It's your girl Betty who here? And you know this about me. It has always been very important to me to stand out and be authentically me, not only with my music, but my style and my vibe. And JBL really gets that. They know your headphones and speakers should look as original as the music you're listening to, or in my case, making. That's why I'm obsessed with my JBL headphones and speakers that help me reflect who I really am, from true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes. Ohh yeah, party boxes guys. JBL has a wide and colourful range of products that help me feel myself when I want to vibe my way. I literally record this entire podcast on my favorite JBL headphones. They are absolutely incredible. So JBL wants us all to listen on our terms living in the moment. Our moment unfiltered. The JBL podcast at This fall on revisionist history, is there anything that we haven't talked about? I should have asked you if you'd like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. And we're back. Those are some great ads. Fantastic Quality products, services. Also pretty good. Anyway, let's get back to Eric Prince. So, yeah, when we last left Eric Prince, he's talking about turning Afghanistan into a rare minerals company that he runs via violence against the Afghan people. So that's fun. He's not the only guy in DC who's shopping around this idea. Stephen Feinberg, who runs Cerberus Capital and also the military. Contractor Dyncorp has been pushing a similar plan around Washington. Feinberg is a close friend of President Trump. He was almost given a position overseeing an intelligence review this year, but the Intel community recoiled because he has no background in Intel or military. He doesn't know anything Cerberus and ******* other one. Dino Dyncorp Dyncorp is one of the military contractors that. Doesn't commit rampant war crimes like Blackwater. Like, I mean, I'm sure they've got blood in their history, but they're more respectable than Blackwater, right? Which is a low bar. And then Cerberus, I'm like, Oh yeah, that evokes really cool Cerberus capital. Sounds like you're the good guy. Yeah, exactly. We're a ******* mythical dog monster. Yeah. I do want to praise Eric on something real quickly, which is his. His. Acumen for this he's the perfect man to take advantage of this time and Republican politics and my evidence for that is one of the slides in this docket he put together, which again is a slide show that's made for President Trump. In the slide show he builds the privatization of the war in Afghanistan as quote the Wollman Ice rink moment of the Trump administration. That's the name of one of the slides, the Wollman ice rink moment in the Trump administration. Do you have any idea what that's a reference to? But it's probably something very critical. I guarantee you this is one of the only things I could. Difference that President Trump would know about and you would not. And that's because back in like the 1980s the Wollman Ice rink in New York City stopped making ice. Or in the 70s I guess. In 1980 the New York Parks Department started working to change that. They spent like six years and $13 million trying to fix this ice rink and basically had to announce at that point that they were going to start all over again. And so it was like this big famous story of government competence, right? Right. They spent millions of dollars, they can't get this ice rink going. So Trump starts publicly saying that he can do the job like under budget and in less time than anybody else. Everybody assumes he's full of **** but he gets the job and he actually does it under budget for like 3,000,000 bucks in in like 1/4 of the time. Like the one ******* time he did it. The the thing that he said, yeah, he he he did the thing, he got the ice rink working again. It made ice, or he didn't. I mean, he hired the people who did it. But, like, they made ice, like, they just couldn't keep the rink at the temperature to keep, I don't know, whatever, but this is like one that failed to actually have ice on the ring. Yeah. Which is important for an ice. Yeah. And then you have a roller rink. So he managed the project that got it fixed and he did it. Under budget and and and anyway, it's a thing that Trump talks talked about often on the campaign trail when he was running for president. He's he's smart, right? No, he's saying that. Yeah, he's saying that Afghanistan is like that ice rink back in the 1980s. One government is just not smart enough to fix it. So he knows how to sell this plan to Donald Trump, right? And I suspect he'll be successful eventually. I mean, based on everything we read all the time in the news, it just seems like every day or every story that comes out, we inch closer and closer to the privatization of that war, which is not the right plan. Just leave. Just admit it was a stupid idea, right? Get the **** out. Right. Say you're sorry. Offer the government some aid, removing all the bombs we dropped. Exactly like you just get the **** out. But that's I think we're probably going to go with Eric's plan, so let's get back into the book. This was a long digression because he talked about. I didn't realize that when this book was published back in 2014, he already had this plan together. So this has clearly been on Eric's mind for a while, like his demo tape that he goes around his shows with. Yeah, and he has a real gift for spending his career running a mercenary empire into personal heroism. In the beginning of his, like in the beginning of his book, he tries to present himself as a lifetime. Servant of both his country and, of course, of God, he says. Since I first enrolled in the Naval Academy after high school, my life's mission has been to serve God, serve my family, and serve the United States with honor and integrity. I did it first as a midshipman Vanessa seal, then, when personal tragedy, called me home from the service as a contractor, providing solutions for some of the thorniest problems on Earth. The business of war has never been pretty, but I did my job legally, and I did it completely too well, perhaps growing Blackwater until it became something resembling its own branch of the military and other government. Agencies. It's like he's winking the whole time. And I did it legally. Wink. So we're going to have another digression now because I couldn't let the sentence too well, perhaps too well. Wow. OK. So I was worried when I started doing this because I was like, we talked about a lot of blackwaters horrible negligence and the deaths associated with the last episode, and I was like, I'm going to be able to find more examples of that for this episode without repeating myself. Turns out it just took about a second on Google because I just typed in a couple of key phrases and I found a 2005 Washington Post article about a plane crash. Of a crash of a plane in Afghanistan piloted by a firm that was a part of Blackwater, essentially one of Eric Prince's aviation firms, killing all six on board. So the 1st Army report, which was released 2 weeks later, said that the plane, which again is essentially a Blackwater plane, was in violation of numerous government regulations and contract requirements. So basically they were breaking a bunch of rules. Now, presidential Airways, which is the company that Prince owned under one of these big umbrella things, right? You guys got all these ****** anyway. Presidential Airways was essentially accused of pairing pilots and Co pilots who both didn't have any experience flying in Afghanistan, and then not training them properly for flying in Afghanistan and then not supplying them with communications equipment that they needed to properly fly in Afghanistan. So two of their guys and I think 4 U.S. soldiers got killed in this crash, and so the family sued Eric Prince, and Eric Prince gets sued by families quite a lot. That's my middle name, Eric. Getting sued by family families. You're almost always the bad guy if whole families are suing you. And also when your negligence. Is that, like, acutely criminal? Yeah, you know, so an attorney for the families accused them of presidential Airways of cutting corners. If they're going to outsource to corporation services like flying personnel or Afghanistan, they must do it with corporations that put the safety of our men and women in uniform ahead of corporate profits. Sadly, that wasn't done here. Seems like a reasonable statement. Presidential Airways followed with a common Eric Prince tactic, calling the army lazy and incompetent. One of Prince's representatives said, in essence, that the Army review that made them look at fault had been slapdash and was filled with errors. Everyone would need to wait until the National Safety Board report came out to really know what had gone wrong and if Presidential Airways had done anything wrong. So now I'm going to read a fund related excerpt from Jeremy Scahill's book Blackwater in 2006, nearly two years after the Army investigators concluded their report, the National Transportation Safety Board. Should a report of its own, the NTSB concluded that Blackwater's pilots were quote behaving unprofessionally and were deliberately flying the non standard route low through the Valley for fun. Yo, the ******* party gang comes back. It's all it's the same thing. They're just dumb ******* party boys getting people killed. ****. I guess that is the one consistent, like, with the culture of that company. It's sort of like, yeah, and also just **** around. Whatever you want. Doesn't matter. It's guys who got frustrated at all the rules the army has, some of which are dumb. You talk to anyone who served in the Army and they'll be able to point out dumb things the army makes you do. But also part of the reason the army has so many dumb rules is so that people don't go joyriding. Planes through crash and killing six people. Expensive hardware. And what's, what's usually the background of a lot of the guys who end up in Blackwater, they retired or they like, discharged, like, how they usually aren't people who got honorably discharged. I mean, it's people who a lot of people who were in special forces and then we're like, I want to get paid, which then they kind of leave. Yeah. Yeah. They like, there's a better check, right. So but it's usually people who are, like, seeing the checks that they're cutting over there because they have a buddy who was with the service and then got out a year or two. And then he's like, I made $300,000 in Iraq last year and we're doing the same. Right, right. And he's like, can we play this game with this ******* plane where we get drunk on the plane, puts a bottle on his head and we try and just knock it off in the valley? Some guys died last week, but it's still fun. Whatever, dude. They didn't know they were doing. Yeah. As you might have noticed from earlier on, Prince has a real bug up his *** about Blackwater not getting what he's seen as what he sees as the proper recognition that it's owed. He had a a statement in his book that I found kind of funny. Government agencies don't want that spotlight being shown on our work, nor to applaud the greatest advantage Blackwater offered them. Increased capability. They only wanted increased deniability. Which is funny, because that's the only reason why his company couldn't be fired from the war is because they needed deniable assets, right? Yeah. Anyway that Eric Prince doesn't like being a deniable asset. And it's never not been in the business of providing them, right? Jesus. Yeah. That must frustrate him when he wants to be the star and he's like, I'm made to be the scapegoat. Yeah, man. That's what you're doing. That's your job. Your job is getting provide the soldiers that the government doesn't have to report to anyone. Right. And you're wasting life and money at the same time. Like, that's your whole, the whole reason you're a billionaire, other than the fact that your dad was right? Yeah. Step one to being a billionaire. Step one to being a billionaire rich dad. Is your dad a billionaire? Move on to square Z, where you die for, where you die for because you don't have enough. You can't afford insulin. Price of insulin. It's like Oregon trail. You broke your leg and you died. You died. But Eric Prince gets a Navy, right? Fun world, fun, fun world. So Prince says in his book quote. The true history of Blackwater is exhilarating, rewarding, exasperating, and tragic. Don't disagree with that. It's the story of men taking bullets to protect the men who take all the credit. A tale of Patriots whose names became known only when lawyers and politicians needed to blame somebody for something. Which, again, is funny because Eric is the epitome of the guy who takes all of the credit while other people get shot at. He's never taken a bullet in his life. He's his like, his only. Job has his basically, his only job since he was 30 has been having other people fight for money that he pays them, right? Yeah. Like he's always taking the credit, and I love that. Like, his, like, scorned attitude. Just like he sounds like Ed Harris and the rock. Like general Hummel. Yeah, they don't. They don't respect us. You just assume General Hummel saw some ****. But he did. Yeah. And he did very least. What, Bosnia? Something like that. Wherever. It was all I can think of his wife's tombstone that literally just said. His wife next to it. It's like, wow, way to give her an identity, Barbara. One of the remarkable things about that to me is it was one of those few movies made in that era where if you needed to have a military character who'd seen some combat, you had to really stretch to figure out where they could have been. Grenada, Grenada, Bosnia. Like those two right now, it's like, take your ******* pick. We're at war in like 30 countries, at least the ones we acknowledge, you know? I mean, no one's going to be there and be like, oh, and you share. It's like, that's a. It's a movie 10 years from now. So at this point in Eric Prince's book, we're just now through the introduction. So chapter one opens with Eric claiming to have saved several women from a boat explosion when he was 13. We. I love how like the intro. Just like, man, we were spit on, disrespected. We were the ones doing the real. We're the real patriots. Chapter one. I'm ******* call out. I saved some ladies when a bump blew up. Yeah, and he's specifically notes at the end of this anecdote. I never did learn their names or what became of them. It's a shame because you're like ******* Spiderman. You just ******* come through. You save people. Like, sorry, I got to keep this moving. It's a lie. The detail of what exactly happened. Yeah, yeah. He taught like these ladies, they did something bad to their boat and its engine exploded and they, like, jumped in the water. And he and his friend fished them out of the water and drew from the shore, and then there was an ambulance waiting to take them away or something. Which may be a boat exploded. I feel like at least a big part of that story is ********. Yeah, I have. You know, I can see that there are probably people who I think a better version is. Maybe some women who are stranded. Maybe their boat ran out of gas or something. They needed a ride to shore. He provided it. If you were in a boat explosion in somewhere time in the 80s and Eric Prince rescued you and you're now a listener of this podcast, drop drop us a line on Twitter. At at ********. Pot. Let us know what? Really let us know. It really happened that day, it turns out, it was his boat that exploded and the women saved him. That story is completely reversed. Yeah, man, I whatever. If if he saved some ladies on a boat and they reach out, I'll. I'll make a whole apology track for Eric. Oh yeah, and the ladies he saved from the boat. Anyway, Prince moves on to talk a little bit about his family history. He uses the story of his grandfather's untimely death as a justification for why welfare is bad quote. When Peter died suddenly of a heart attack in 1943, my grandmother sought no government handouts, no charity from the church, not even money from family. Edgar, who had two sisters. His dad was the man of the house. Now he would provide for them. He was 12. Wait, wait. I'm. I'm feeling that he what is he trying to say that? I mean, how is he trying to connect welfare to? He's trying to talk about how awesome his family is by pointing out that he just oh, right, he's like his grandma didn't take a ******* penny. My grandma wouldn't take any money. She just made my 12 year old grand dad. Yeah, he's how cool is my family? You're the man now, dog. Sounds like your family's kind of abusive air. Yeah, or sounds like she should have sought for some welfare school her 12 year old. Finish grade school. Unless that's a lie, too. Yeah, unless that's a lie, too. Who knows? Could you imagine, like, her grandma was like the OG welfare queen, the mystical warfare she's rolling around in a Bentley? Yeah. And that's how my dad became a Billy. Yeah. So anyway, Eric portrays that is awesome. It's worth noting that his dad didn't seem to view this as a good thing because he knows later in the book, quote, dad didn't let me hold a job during high school. Unlike his hardscrabble youth. He wanted me to enjoy those years. So. Ups to Eric Prince's dad. He broke a cycle. Exactly right. I mean, didn't turn out with a great kid, but no, no. Yeah, they're achieving. I do feel like Eric missed. Maybe that lesson. Oh, which was children ought not to work. Yeah, yeah, who knows? Maybe that wasn't his dad's lesson. I don't know the guy I bet you're wondering about. Betsy de vos. Eric Prince's sister. He only mentions his sister by name once in his entire autobiography. I was hoping to be like, not one mention at all. Goes and I have a sister. He mentions her once. Talk about the guy she married. Wow. So she only comes up in the context of her husband? Yeah, of course. I think my sister is referenced a couple of times, but Betsy DeVos is only named once as he's introducing her husband. She his only sister? I think so. OK, so why is he creaming his jeans for Mr DeVos? Just because he's a super rich guy, right? I don't remember the exact context of the family died recently. Oh yeah. Good, good. Because he's the founder of. Yeah, yeah. You still own the Orlando Magic. He has three sisters. So the other times when he's referring to his sister, who knows? Who knows? Doesn't matter. There's a Betsy and then the ******* other ones. Other ones. I didn't even check on the others, but he mentions Betsy DeVos once. He's like, but hey, Betsy, the best one. She married for *******. I mean, they were already rich. He doesn't give us much detail at all about his childhood, but if you're game, I did find 1 anecdote that I want to kind of go down a conspiracy rabbit hole, OK? It's Eric's description of his favorite childhood hobby quote. The first group of soldiers I ever assembled was made of solid lead, 2 inches high, standing in neat rows on my bedroom window sill. There were hundreds of them painted to match their real life British, French, and Continental Army counterparts. I created them from molds I got on trips abroad and 40 pounds of lead dead and I melted down. The cast iron plumbers pod. Wow. He's a little like war miniatures. In fairness, Eric, this makes I did. That's exactly what I did when I was a kid. I played ******* like Warhammer and others. I spent my whole childhood Conger like, but specifically building models. That was my whole child. I had a set of, like, civil war dudes. And I remember I went as far as buying like the fake grass to put, like, to create like a battlefield scene and like fake trees. And I don't and I realize like, because I remember as a kid, like, regular toys weren't so quite scratching that itch of like. Yeah. Like, you know, the, like, military should look like. So I was like, oh, you know what? I'm do this. It was too much work, though, so I commend you for even being a hobby. Yeah, toy man. That's what I did as a child. And I remember it's like the most poison you can expose yourself to this little kid because your hands are always covered in paints and God knows what's in them. Like this ******* cyanoacrylate glue. I was always pulling it off of my fingers and stuff, but in Eric's case, he was melting lead and. I don't know how much lead exposure you get doing that thing, but we do have a lot of documentation on why lead exposure is really bad for children. I'm going to cite from a study made by the College of Family Physicians in Canada. Lead is a developmental neurotoxin. Children are most commonly exposed and they are most vulnerable. Lead exposure has been associated with many cognitive and motor deficits, as well as distractibility and other characteristics of attention deficit hyperactive disorder, although children's blood lead levels have declined. Considerably over the past three decades, with removal of lead from gasoline and paint, children can still be exposed to lead from lead paint and older homes, toys, and other sources. Because post exposure treatment cannot reverse the cognitive effects effects of lead exposure, preventing lead exposure is essential. One of the things lead exposure is most tied to is violence, violent crime, lead exposure. It's we've seen crime drop for most of the last 30 years, and one of the major theories behind it is that we got let out of everything and so people aren't being born exposed to lead. Because we know that it's one of the biggest correlators with violent crime. Does that align with like look women's ability to have an abortion to because I know it's another one like people like there's around a bunch of people have probably over there. It's certainly a mix of things but it's very credible that wait, but how do you ******* make your own lead? Little lead and melted in the pot. How do you wait? So I don't. I've never had the privilege. What you do is put a ******* I don't know. I never did that either because by the time I was collecting model soldiers, they were mad at a plastic because they realized you shouldn't expose children or like cast iron. Like, it sounds like he was getting blocks of lead and melting it and pouring it into his own molds so he was without any prior respiratory equipment, exposing himself to lead fumes and everything. And I found a study in South Africa that correlates lead exposure to interest in firearms because they found that competitive shooters had higher regression and much higher blood lead levels than competitive Archers. Which is an interesting group to compare it to, right? Yeah, so. This is just a theory, but that's amazing too, because like right, like lead bullets too, like the bullet in leg. It's like a feedback loop or you're not. How often can you get lead bullets? I've been a shooter most of my life too, and #1 most of the bullets you're going to. I don't have exposed lead on them. Some of them do, but it's usually jacketed and something and #2. You're not getting a lot of lead exposure, shooting, firing, but I imagine like how often, like how often has the like the actual rounds themselves been protected from for people from the lead? Ohh, not not very long. In fact, if you're looking at like the the Continental Times 1800s or whatnot, people are probably melting a lot of their own ball, right? Right. So yeah, we're making with pewter obvious. Like it's definitely fed into violence throughout centuries because we've been putting a lot of lead everywhere. I just think it's interesting that Eric Prince we see in his childhood, both this joy of making soldiers and also maybe the lead exposure has led him to be such a ******* violent, literally making soldiers out of the thing that would, that leads to like additional violent. It's almost poetic, yeah. Speaking of poetic. These ads are poems for your wallet. Oh yeah. Go on. Here we go. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. Just December. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. A story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. The story about the man who simply become known as La Monstre. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up you guys? It's your girl Betty who here? And you know this about me. It has always been very important to me to stand out and be authentically me, not only with my music, but my style and my vibe. And JBL really gets that. They know your headphones and speakers should look as original as the music you're listening to, or in my case, making. That's why I'm obsessed with my JBL headphones and speakers that help me reflect who I really am, from true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes. Ohh yeah, party boxes guys. JBL has a wide and colourful range of products that help me feel myself when I wanna vibe my way. I literally record this entire podcast on my favorite JBL headphones. They are absolutely incredible. So JBL wants us all to listen on our terms living in the moment. Our moment unfiltered. The JBL podcast at This fall on revisionist history, is there anything that we haven't talked about or? I should have asked you if you'd like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. And we're back and I'm a I'm going to do a free ad right now. One of these great unpaid ads, which are such a smart thing to do. I'm eating some tapatio Doritos. And folks, they've appeared. Oh, they're so good. I don't like. I can't stand flaming hot Cheetos. I like. I like spicy stuff in general, but not spicy chips. I I've had. I hate spicy chips. And the general Tapatio Doritos are ******* phenomenal. These are just delightful. Little ASMR for you folks at home. Hmm. Oh my God. Have you seen the video of the girl who takes a bite of the chip in her eyes, rolled back in her head? It was like an old vine and said it's amazing. That's how I imagine this when you hear this, folks. His eyes are rolling back into his head. We just saw Miles is deface. Hmm. Ohh yeah. That's actually yeah. My dorito face. Exactly. Dorito face. There we go. There we go. There we go. The campaign yeah, come on, Doritos. Doritos, y'all are I'm not even use profanity. You guys are messing, you're messing up, and you're missing a massive let's be more productive if everybody could get on the same hashtag and and in the same tweet. Doritos not hashtag Doritos. Not dictators. And hashtag Doritos because you've got A tag or at Doritos, you got A tag Doritos in it and you got to do hashtag Doritos, not dictators, if everybody does that when this episode drops. Maybe we'll get a sponsorship and I'll get no, you know what you do? Everybody takes a photo with Doritos and use those hashtags and you do hashtag. Why I eat Doritos. Oh, so they see that. And they're like, well, I mean, for somehow this guy has mobilized an army of Doritos eaters. You're like the Eric Prince of Doritos. That's that has always been my dream, right? I was going to say Eric Prince of you getting a Doritos sponsorship is your Air Force because I want Doritos to pay me to mine Doritos for more comments. Yeah. Wow, what a beautiful one. Now I'm seeing a conspiracy here. You heard it here first. This is conspiracy. Has been going on since the show began. Yeah. Yeah, I've been consistent. I mean, it is a sincere brand loyalty. It is a sincere because I love me some Doritos. Oh, they're good. I'm going to trade these tapatio Doritos and cooking some migas and see how that **** works. Yeah. Wow. Almost seems sacrilegious. But, you know, it is sacrilegious. They're they're ************ megas, but they're delicious. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway. Yeah, yeah, I'm the best. That actually does make me want gazpacho, though, just because the names are kind of, yeah, I could go for some of that *******. You make a good no. But I have a friend who makes a really good gazpacho. Go camping with her every now and then, and it's the ******* best thing. I only do it for the gazpacho. OK, you bringing the dispatch? The way back to Eric Prince. So Eric portrays himself and his childhood as a quiet, boring kid. I didn't smoke, I didn't drink. Being an athlete gave me a social network, yet I didn't have many close friends growing up. Maybe it's because you're a sociopath. I don't know. From little information we have about his school years, he sounds absolutely insufferable. He portrays himself as the living embodiment of one of those marine with an atheist professor in a college class. Memes that circulates around the Internet. You know, the kind. Wait, what have you ever you run one of those like now they're it's gone around where most of the memes are mocking. The original. But there would be, like, this e-mail forward or whatever kind of story that you're conservative relatives would send you. And it's about like a college professor talks about how there is no God, and Marine stands up and gives a speech about how he saw God on the battlefield. Yeah, one of those kind of stories, right. Eric tells his version of that in this autobiography, oh, OK. This is while he's in high school. Once in class, I challenged a teacher who called then President Ronald Reagan's Cold War military build up a waste of taxpayer dollars. I countered by rattling off every strategic defense initiative. Weapon system we needed to counter various Soviet threats. I'd analyzed Reagan Star Wars the way my classmates picked apart the University of Michigan's football roster. Yeah. What's really fun about this to me is that it illustrates how bad Eric Prince is admitting when he's wrong. Because by the time Eric was 18, we knew that almost none of the weapons systems that had been talked about for the strategic Defense initiative were ever going to work. And the the few that would, the directed energy weapons that actually did have some potential. In 1987, when Eric was 18, a government report was released saying that essentially these weapons would need to become between 101 million times more powerful and more energy. Efficient in order to have a chance at working. Wow, so is the rail gun count is one of those things. I don't think that started out as I don't. Heuristic weapon that I've always been obsessed with, and now I've seen that the Chinese have been able to miniaturize it work? Well, yeah, we've got those too. Do you see the thing with the Chinese Navy? Like, they've really figured out the rail gun, though. And like, they've they're scary. Yeah, they look scary. I want one. Oh yeah, ever since eraser. Well, and I feel like the only thing that stops a bad guy with a rail gun is a good guy. And that's the real that's really the message of a racer. That's real good. Yeah. Yeah. Will they ever be that small? If big rail gun wants to get in on the sponsorship deal, I'll, I'll talk rail guns all day. When he changed the Rail Gun Association, yeah, OK. So like nearly all people born into incredible wealth, Eric has managed to convince himself that he never got any handouts. Quote after the heart attack, my father, his dad had a heart attack, but he survived the first one. My father was generous with his time, but never with handouts. He didn't want me relying on the family business. He made it clear that I had been given every advantage in life and that I had no excuse for not making something of myself independently. I would not be working for Prince Corporation after college, he said. I would receive no trust fund. They had to make it on my own. So now do we know? Can we do we know how true that is? Well, he didn't go straight to work for Prince Corporation, right? That part was there no trust fund? Was there no inherited wolf? Oh yeah, there was, because after his dad dies a few pages later in the book, Eric writes this. Just over a year after my father's death, my mother's sisters and I sold the Prince Automotive Unit to Milwaukee based Johnson Controls Inc for 1.35 billion, which was split. Split between a number of Dad's business partners, employee stockholders, and my mother's sisters and me. Now he puts himself last in both of those lists very deliberately. I'm going to guess he might have gotten more money than his dad's employees. Stockholders probably. And I like also the idea that his sisters got a better, bigger cut. And that's like dope. Like, that's his pain. Like with Betsy, he's like, **** she got such a hope. So I hope his dad hated him and cut him out of but clearly not enough. That's true. It is, right. Because if his dad was that actually that much of a **** *** like, dude, don't expect to ******* work here. You've been given everything. Yeah, there is a version. You see that? I doubt that though. We know he got, conservatively, a few $100 million, right? And also people who have grown up with privilege, I mean, if you, if you want to live in denial about that, that is usually the first thing you say is like, OK, I know I may come from this family. I didn't get a ******* thing though. Yeah, and but we also know that, like when he became a Navy SEAL, like the when he was going for, like, the office. The OCS class, the like he had or one of the classes he had. One of the things he had to do before he became a Navy SEAL. The class was full and his dad pulled some strings to get him in at the last moment. So like that I'm getting. I'm going to bet that happened to help get him into the Air Force Academy too. Yeah. Anyway, yeah you you remember Eric went through to the the Academy for a hot minute. At least one instructor thinks he left because it wasn't conservative enough, but in Eric's book he blames something else. The movie Top Gun. It wasn't long before I realized the Academy wasn't the right fit. It was just after Top Gun had come out and the environment was an uncomfortable mix of Tailhook era frat boys on one hand and a nonsensical policing of political correctness on the other. I felt as if I was expected to learn from graduate student instructors who knew little more than the fact that they've been there longer than I had. I quickly began to wonder whether the Academy created great leaders or have great leaders just enrolled there, endured it, and made it out on the other side. Eric did not endure it. He quit after, you know, like a year that sounds like some real college dropout ****. Yeah, he opted instead for Hillsdale, he said. Remembers liking it because everyone there was the same kind of libertarian he was, and because they were all rich kids, too. He doesn't know it's diverse than the Air Force. He does note proudly, that the college offered him a full scholarship. I'm going to guess because his dad had been giving them some money, but that he we turned it down and his dad said, leave it for someone who needs the money. And he he portrays this as like a good thing that he did rather than like, no, of course if your dad is a billionaire, you don't take a free ride. College *******. That's the human thing to do, right? Pat yourself on the back for the bare minimum. They bought the school, but I could almost be the title for this autobiography. Like, I think the working title for the episode is Eric Prince accidentally wrote a book about why he sucks, but the title for this book might as well be Eric Prince does the minimum and pretends that he's ingratiates himself. Spectacular. So yeah, he tells stories like how when he was working as a volunteer firefighter, they thought he was just some rich kid at first, but then he kept showing up early and doing a real good job of cleaning, and he earned their respect. It's like he's rewriting the script of his life again. If you worked in that Firehouse and have anything to say about Eric Prince, positive or negative, drop us a line. I'd love to hear from you. His big information quote yeah. Now most Hillsdale students came from money. The butchers painter. He says it as if he's about to say he didn't know. Most of them came from yeah, not me. The butchers, painters and slaughterhouse workers who volunteered or worked at the Firehouse initially figured me for a snot nosed college kid. But I showed up at the Firehouse early to change the blades on the K12 rescue saws and I stayed late to clean the pumps. I handled the heavy canvas hoses and carried the ladders. After a call, when the other volunteers sat back and cracked open a drink, I rolled the hoses, gradually ironed their respect. You also sound like the equipment manager on a basketball team who sucks and the guys are doing the real work are like, yeah, why don't you just ******* do that? And that is my suspicion is that maybe he didn't actually, maybe on when there was a call, he was never called out because they're like, no, that's the ******* that kid. You don't want that kid in a dangerous situation in your back. And we, there's hints of that in his Navy seals experience, too. So we'll get to that. Whenever Eric is involved in anything sort of cool personally, he writes about it at length. Like he repeatedly mentions when Blackwater first showed up in Afghanistan, he was there and he actually did guard duty some. At times, because they were. So he he did guard duty in Afghanistan. Nothing ever happened, right? But he did in the Green Zone. He talks about it repeatedly, right. That like, yeah. And I was there in Afghanistan doing guard duty, like, so when anything is that close to being cool, he talks about it at length. I'm going to guess he didn't do anything cool as a firefighter. Maybe not. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm being an ******* here. He's like, I was the first one to discover the Backdraft phenomenon. It was around this time that Eric made the first political donation of his life, which we talked about in the first episode. $15,000 he gave to the Republican Party. Now, in that episode, we speculated that this may have been an attempt by his parents to Max out their political donations using their kids as funnels. According to Eric, that's not true. So he says that the money was his own and it came from quote, investment income from stocks my parents had long ago bought for me. So you didn't take any handouts, but his parents gave him enough stocks that he was able to donate $15,000. 19 I doubt that. No, 19, just be real. That's how these wealthy and I'm sure I'm pretty sure we talked about that that's like the standard tactic for wealthy people just giving as much money. It's like, well let me Max out. Make my dog a Max out tonight. If you're if you're if you're born rich and you're listening to the show. I'm sure someone is like fine just own it. Just be like, yeah, I'm a millionaire because my parents are rich. Like, OK yeah, just don't lie about it. Don't be like President Trump and be like we got a small loan from my dad. That was millions of dollars. Yeah, you guys, you had it easier because you were rich. Yeah, except mine. You know, that's the way you didn't ask to be born rich. No, just worse. No, it's like, grateful and honest. I have it a lot easier because I've never had to deal with, like, a major chronic illness, right? Exactly. Makes my life easier. We all have. We all have privilege. Just own it. Don't be * **** ***** it. Eric Prince OK, so yeah, you'll remember that after college, Eric wound up briefly interning for the George HW Bush White House. You recall that he wasn't happy there. He admits in his book that he didn't like the fact that President Bush was bargaining with people who wanted to wink and weaken the safety sanctity of marriage, raise taxes, and push environmental policies. So yeah, environmental. Yeah, he admits that he got chewed out by the deputy chief of staff, Andrew card, because he wouldn't shut up about his thoughts on how the President ought to do things while he was an intern in the White House. Which sounds like what would happen if you're being an insufferable ****. After five months, his internship was not renewed. Of course not. And that brings you back to even the Firehouse. Things like, actually, you guys should probably be cleaning it like this. Like, shut the **** ** Eric. And he's going to do it clean boy. Yeah, yeah, you do it, Eric. Let's all have beers since we just pulled people out of a fire. Yeah, exactly. Well, I'm going to switch the K12 blades off the saws. Whatever. Nobody else is cool enough. Four years? Yeah, probably. Blades. Fine. I don't know. I don't know. Saw blades. I'm sorry. Firefighters. Anyway. So you probably remember also that Eric Prince became a Navy SEAL next, using a family connection to get into the school. But Prince did pass Hellweek on his own merits, and that's impressive. And when he got back from becoming a Navy SEAL, this happened. My parents sent me an extraordinary gift. A bronze statue of a cowboy the artist had inscribed in the unwritten laws of the range. The work ethic still exists. When you sign for an outfit, you ride for their brand. True commitment takes no easy way out. Now, I think Eric mentioned this because he likes to see himself as a cowboy and like he and his contractors as Cowboys. I can't imagine a a quote that does a worse job of describing Eric Prince's worth work ethic than that, because every time he makes a commitment, he weasels out of it every single time. That's the one thing that is 100% true with Eric Prince, and I think that's the case with most people who are very insecure with their identity, right? Like they try and project something that is the complete opposite of their own, their truth as a person. So if you're a cowardly, sniveling little brat, you're going to act like the upstanding guy who like, hey, first guy in the world, like the brand you read for that brand. That's right. Unless it gets hard. Then you leave because you had a disagreement. Unless it gets hard, in which case that brand was cheating and there was no point in committing to that brand to begin with. Eric, yeah, so Eric was a Navy SEAL for about 2 years. Now it costs, it's hard to say, probably somewhere around 300,000 to a half, $1,000,000 just to train a Navy SEAL, and as much as $1,000,000. Here to keep that seal, you know, active and and trained up in the field while they're in active duty Navy SEAL. I'm going to guess that the government did not get its money's use out of Eric's brief stint in the Navy seals. You're supposed to do that job more than two years if you commit to it, he says remarkably little about his time doing one of the coolest jobs in existence. I'm going to guess that's because he didn't do very much. There is one telling paragraph where Eric writes about his experience during the Yugoslavian Civil War. In it, he cleverly obscures the fact that he didn't experience any actual combat or real danger during his time there. We did. This was just about to ask. I'm like, what? What? What kind of action did you think you'll pick up on right then? In late 1995, as Yugoslavia broke apart in the Warring States SEAL Team 8 deployed to Bosnia Herzegovina, the shattered buildings in war-torn streets were a far cry from the peaceful communities I'd once seen there with my wife. We seals were performing combat search and rescue for downed pilots or taking direct action against radar sites. Not me. Eric Prince. Yeah, we see seals. We seals. Yeah. It's odd that he's able to be somewhat truthful in those instances, right? Because, like, it seems like he'll embellish anything because there's guys who served with him that would be like Eric Prince lied about it. The 1/3 rail. Now, where were those seals? If you were a Navy SEAL in Yugoslavia and you served with Eric Prince and I got it wrong or I got it right? I'm sure we could find that. Yeah, yeah, through a possible for FOIA. I don't know if you can probably just think you just inquire public knowledge. You don't keep it secret who enabled, right? Right. Yeah, we should call. What's that? Guy who does like the seal stolen valor stuff. Don. What's his face? Don Shipley? Yeah, the guy who's like the ******* OG seal hunter. Be like, hey, can you find his buds? I mean, he was definitely a seal. Here I do want to hear what this time those guys who are probably like, dude, I was a seal for 15 years. This guy quit after two years. I would like to see what his time as a seal was like because again, every time he does something, he's directly involved in something cool he talks about, right, right. And he just he he weasels again here. Well, see, that's then you kind of see the part where he is intelligent enough to know how far he can stretch the truth because he's like, well, there are people who are going to be able to corroborate or basically debunk what I say. So let me just say. I was. I was in the seals during that time and they and that's what we seal well. I was with the Seals team and members of this team did that. The seals did. I was on timeout because I stole a helicopter and tried to erase it. Who knows what his what his situation was. Eric's time as a Navy SEAL was cut short. He says it's because his wife got cancer at age 29 and he needed to take care of her and his children. And if you were a normal dude, of course that would be a good reason to stop being 100%. Of course, of course. And he says. My being gone was suddenly impossible. I requested my discharge from the Navy now. Here's the thing. Here's the thing. You dig something up, do you dig something up there? Well, it's just that almost as soon as he gets home from being a Navy SEAL, he starts Blackwater. And he's spending weekends and weeks away from his wife and children, right? Hiking in the woods and shooting snakes and getting the the land ready for this thing. I don't know exactly how long you wait, but he waited. But yeah, he well, you know, it's it's hard to speculate on that, but it doesn't seem like it did. Life survive? No. Ohio. So yeah, we're going to get into how he talks about his wife and some other stuff here. So at one point he mentions that he and his wife gave half, $1,000,000 to a clinic in Prague so they could fund experimental treatments to try on his wife in. In that passage, he praises his wife's courage and then says, and through it all she seemed more concerned about my loss, my impending grief, than her own death. Remember, Eric, you can live without me, she would say, but you can't live without God. Now Eric starts Blackwater. Yeah, as I said, soon. After leaving the seals and spending a **** load of time there, and after 2001 his business ramps up, he starts spending less and less time at home, even though that's why he left the Navy by 2000. Wait, so he left the seals went like 979999. OK, and then at that point, what was his like? Wealth at hundreds of 1,000,000? OK. I mean, I would say conservatively at least like 100 million roll right from selling the family and everybody split 1.3 billion. He did not need to work for money. He could have just been a dad and been there with his wife and her last years. He probably could have paid guys to like, I'm play war in front of him and actually kill it themselves. He could have been shooting every day if he wanted to. He could have bought a ranch or whatever. I'm sure there are people listening right now who have lost spouses to diseases and would have loved to have just been able to not work and spend as much time with them as possible. That's not. The strategy Eric took, he started a very involved business. And then after 2001, he starts going over and spending time in Afghanistan and, you know, the the contracting business. She's still battling cancer. Yeah, off and on she's battling cancer. He goes into remission for a while, but then it comes back and then like 2003. It's it's really bad quote, and not just that's bad, but the marriage is bad. By early 2003, my wife and I didn't have much time alone together to begin with, and with those stresses, as well as the effects of cancer and surgery and chemotherapy eliminated most of the romance or intimacy. When we did, I felt as if all I could do to keep things from spinning completely out of control. I felt as if it was all I could do to keep things from spinning completely out of control. And I found comfort in the arms of a woman named Joanna Hook, who had worked as our nanny in Michigan in mid 2002 when we all moved back to Virginia. He was hired to perform administrative functions that are moyock, blackwaters, moyock facilities. She became pregnant before Joan died. So. Now, relationships are hard. If a friend who had had a spouse die came to me and confessed that they had cheated on their spouse while they was dying as cancer, I would not view that as a good thing. But I wouldn't take it as a condemnation of the person either. It's a nightmare. People have needs. We all fall short in difficult times, 100%. I mean, I think it's it's always it's hard to just judge someone's character solely based on that. It's. But I mean at the at the same time, based on like his prior history even leading up to that well. And he he he portrays himself as a moral paragon on every page of this book. But in my opinion, this cheating is not just a matter of Eric failing in the face of terrible sorrow and stress and grasping for a moment of joy. It's an exact yet another example of his complete inability to degrade, to delay his own gratification. Right, like, because that's his thing, is he keeps quitting stuff, he keeps leaving, he he gets bored, he gets bored, he gets bored, or he doesn't want to be told what to do or whatever. Did he have any like regret or like, does he talk about that in the book? Yeah, yeah. In a way that feels believable. Well, I'm not going to say in a way that feels believable, but we'll just continue the story. I do like. I think that that is a big through line that he cannot stand. Eric left the Air Force Academy because it was hard and he didn't like being exposed to other people's points of view. He liked Hillsdale, his college, because it was full of people he agreed with. He left the seals, and I'm going to guess part of that was because he didn't like being told what to do. I didn't go into it here, but he spends pages and pages of his book talking about everything. He thought that was dumb about how seals had to train and, like, the way they had to travel. And, like, he sets it up as like, and this inspired me to create black water to create a better training environment for seals. But I feel like he's just. Anyway, yeah, you had two years, and then you're the expert on Eric. Prince does not have a good record of sticking to things right now. Here is the way he concludes his story about his wife's death and his infidelity. In March 2003, on a ski trip in Vail, Co, Joan wrote me a long letter. She left it on the dresser. In our vacation home there, my wife understood it would likely be her last time visiting a place we both loved, and that I would find the letter when I returned at Christmas time nine months later, without her. It was the most caring, most awful thing I've ever read. She knew everything about everything. Joanna I had devastated her. Yet in her final months, Joan had found the strength to forgive me. There are no excuses for what happened. There's not a day that goes by that I don't regret the way I heard her. After years of pain and treatments, on June 14th, 2003, my Beautiful Wife surrendered her body to her creator and passed from this life. She was 36 years old. I cut out a small lock of her hair to keep, and I asked the doctor for the chemotherapy port that had been implanted in her upper chest. Really? The doctor said that thing was the bane of her existence. That's the closest thing to her heart, I said. I've got it to this day. So what do you think of that? Sophie Looks grossed out. It's just so dark. It's dark that it's the thing that she hated. I don't know. I'm not going to criticize the. I don't. It's hard, like, you know, it's like the one terror part, part of this whole thing where it's hard for me to fully be like, I'll **** you. Gross son of I don't know you. Everyone grieves in their own way, and I don't. I don't wish for anyone to live through that kind of experience, like. Had to, you know, deal with that. It's just, it's an awful, awful experience. Soul destroying. And I don't think he had much of a soul to begin with. Yeah, but part of me just thinks, like, I don't know if he even really, if he's even really had a real relationship with other humans. It's hard to say because. There's some more gross stuff coming up. So Eric married his former nanny and stayed with her for eight years. They divorced in 2012. In 2009, well in 2009, two anonymous individuals who claim to be ex Blackwater workers filed sworn statements in federal Court One of these men claimed, quote Mr Prince knowingly hired 2 persons who were previously involved in the Kosovo sex trafficking ring to serve at relatively high levels within his company. Mr Princess, North Carolina operations had an ongoing wife swapping and sex ring which was participated in by many of Mr Prince's top. Executives. Xe, because his company was XE at this time. Spokeswoman Stacy Deluke denied this and called it obvious slander. Also, it seems like Stacey is now Eric Prince's wife, so that seems aboveboard. Well. Like France. Kosovo sex ring guys. I didn't even. There's more to dig into that one I just didn't have because there's so much else to get into how. There's also one of the other guys talked about how he's been having people assassinated who knew dirt about his company and like made, was willing to make a claim in federal court about it. I don't know. I have not gotten into all. There will be more episodes about Eric Prince and the ******* never ending he there's just too much you can't like we we've expanded to two and we're probably only in like, the second act of his life. We're in the second chapter of his book. Right. OK. So the first third of his book is a pretty straightforward autobiography covering, you know, his life and the creation of Blackwater. But then it stops after around the time that the Iraq war starts, it stops being a normal autobiography, and every chapter starts being just him defending himself and Blackwater against different allegations of Blackwater's failures, crimes and massacres and stuff. Wait, so how far are we in the book? Until this about where we are, about 1/3 of the way into 1/3 of the book functions somewhat like a biography, and then it's just him defending his company. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. That's the whole book, Eric Prince. It didn't. I'm a hero now. I'm so good. OK, so I'm not going to go through all of these chapters because we don't have days for this podcast. I am going to talk about a couple of cases of him defending himself, and if you want to read the book yourselves, the ******** tactics he uses in these will be evident. But don't don't actually pay for the book. It's bad enough. Please steal a PDF torrent or something. He said that that's not ******** pods official. Oh yeah, sorry. Yeah, that's no one's take. It would be if it's possible to steal. Copy of Eric Prince's book and a person out there in the world did that. I would not condemn them as a human being for that action, although I would not condone or support their decision. I will go a step further and say go to to say Limewire. Amazon. Download kazaa. Download the kazaa. You're gonna love it. Oh boy, we are elderly men. OK, so. Let's talk about how Eric Prince justifies. Do you remember that **** ** in Fallujah where four of his men got murdered and two of them got strung up by a bridge and it sparked the battle of Fallujah that killed 10s of thousands or thousands, a lot of people. I don't know how many. I don't. That was in the last episode. Listen to the last episode. He killed a lot of people. I mean, hold on. Let me listen to the last episode really quick. I'll be right back. And we're Oh my God, OK yeah, **** this guy, right? OK, now, if you remember, Eric Prince had taken up a contract to deliver kitchen supplies, or Blackwater had. Prince describes them as literally pots and pans in the book. Here's how he describes the sweet deal he made with the company to deliver their kitchen supplies. We agreed to provide a squad of 34 men to protect EMS personnel and convoys, the convoys of kitchen supplies. Regency was to pay my company $11 million for a year of work, just shy of $1,000,000 per month, with an option to renew for a second year. Now, Eric describes Blackwater's mindset at the start of the War on Terror as say Yes first, iron out the details later, and when he said yes to this job, some of those missing details included the fact that his men didn't have enough armored vehicles, machine guns, or actual contractors to fulfill the mission. Detail do you go to like Home Depot and be like, who has military experience? If you've if you've ever talked to a soldier who served in Iraq in the early 2000s, they'll all agree that armored vehicles are a pretty minor detail. When you're driving through the streets. Who needs a little bit of armor and guns? For what? Come on, it's kitchen equipment. Nothing. Yeah, it's nothing. Nothing. Anyway, yeah, Eric notes with pride that his company got the cooking equipment contract after another private security firm refused. To the obvious risk of the route. So a responsible company was like, we can't safely do this. I'm sorry, like you're supposed to do. So Prince picked up the contract. He believed they could make it. Yeah. He blames the fact that they that they had to send in a smaller team than advertised without the proper equipment to the actions of another security company that he says basically forced them to do the mission before they were ready. Because these guys contract, they ended it sooner than they should have ended it, and so we just didn't have enough time to do it. He also claims that the extra men and armor and weapons. Wouldn't have made a difference because the ambush was so well set up. Ohh **** nothing could have stopped this from happening. In other words, the fact that blackwaters men weren't prepared and the escort was sent out unable to meet the company's own standards was not Eric's fault. There was no other way things could have gone, and obviously they couldn't have cancelled the mission because that would have been really bad for them financially. And there's pots and pans needed delivering anyway. Just he knew from the beginning he was awash. Yeah. Here's a quote from the Praeger Security International. Textbook shadow. Force private security contractors in Iraq. It was Blackwater management, not the State Department, that reduced the preparation time for the ill-fated security details so that they were dropped in place in their first day on the job. It was Blackwater management that decided to send out a four man detail instead of the usual six. It was Blackwater that decided to send the detail and soft skinned instead of armored vehicles. It was black water that decided not to give the detail machine guns as required by contract. So my guess even reached to the ******* guy. That's just lazy. It's like you even ******* follow through on the contract. Yeah, it's. I'm sure if there's one thing you could have definitely found in Iraq at that time, it was extra machine guns. Like, there's a lot of them. What do they mean by that? Like, mounted like 50 Cal? I don't think I mean anything bigger than like an M4, but I think that's all they were armed with. It was just four guys with personal weapons. Oh, wow. Which you don't want to roll through. It's kind of risky to roll through, Felicia today. Oh my God, just because he's cheap? Just because he's cheap? Yeah, he's and he can't he can't ever accept that something could be a failure like that. You might have to say we can't do the mission right now. Leave the pots and pans. Maybe they get stolen, whatever. Like it can't go to better than people losing their lives, you would think if you were a human being when you're looking at $11 million contract. Clearly whoever was working with the other security company that said no was a human being and was like, no, people are going to get killed and it's not worth it for someone with like functional. Like a basic moral to be like, yeah, I've been. I've had to deal with that. And that's not something I want to repeat, right? Like, this is a bad idea. It cannot be responsibly done. So we will not. I don't. I have no battlefield experience. And I was like, what are you talking about? It seems like our own rules say armored vehicles are necessary and these aren't. I don't even take risks when I play like Sid Meier's Civilization, let alone, like, with real people's lives. So a lot of Eric Prince's book actually serves as not very covert legal defenses. Against the families of the men who died in this attack, all of whom have since sued Blackwater for negligence, Prince is very careful. He provides fawning hagiographies of how wonderful all of the guys who died were, even as he throws shade on the mission commander, a guy named Batalona, for deciding to go in. Quote, No one questioned Batalona's decision to accept the mission, especially since his insistence on shrinking the convoy showed that he was aware of the risks because he asked to transport fewer vehicles because there were so few men. But I'm going to guess that alone and got pressured by somebody. To do the mission. No ****. It was probably like, yeah, we'll give you another extra blah, blah, blah. But, you know, who knows what they said? And they were all new to the job. They wanted to do a good prove that they were company men. You know, Princess Unctuously kind to the families. In his description of them, he listened to tale how he visited all of them and how he invited them to a thing at the Blackwater Ranch or whatever. He talks about how sad he was and he quotes from thank you letters that the family sent him before it became clear that negligence had been responsible for their loved ones deaths and sued him. Umm, so yeah, he quotes from like the letters grieving what wife sent him in the immediate aftermath of this before they saw the detail. He got ahead of it by being really nice to them basically to try and ******* gas they sent him because they were just grateful that he was seeing so caring in this terrible moment, you know, because they knew there was danger and then they realized, oh, there was, this is your, this is your kindness is manifested. He makes a huge point about the fact that one of the men's last paychecks for $9000 was held up because he was dead and his wife couldn't cash it. So Prince notes that the company cut her a check directly and says, quote, if the estate comes after us for the money, then so be it, reads one of our internal staff emails from the time. It sounds like the kids need the money, so he makes the big show about the fact that he made it slightly easier for them to get $9000 that they were owed, but then, you know, didn't. Fought the families in court over paying them out anything extra over the fact that they had, you know, sent their loved ones into a dangerous situation without the proper equipment, without the equipment at their own companies rules said that was necessary. I think moments like these really reveal how little Eric Prince believes human beings ought to be expected to do for one another. Like, that's one of the things that strikes out to me like to a normal person, this is the least gesture you would expect from a company who had gotten one of your relatives killed, and he acts like. It's a great humanizing anecdote for water. From outer space, yeah. One of the funny through lines for this book is Eric's refusal to call his men mercenaries. He's continuously offended at the mere thought of that. And then he drops in lines like this about the men who died in Fallujah and the legal complications around that. So they weren't combatants, but they weren't noncombatants. Batalona, Zovko, Helvenston, and Teague were civilians, but they were armed. Ultimately, at behest of the Department of Defense pursuing dangerous missions, the four fell into a glaring Gray area of international law that experts in Geneva and beyond have continued to debate for years. Yeah. Yeah. What do you call civilians with guns in a war zone? Dangerous missions for money? Yeah, if only there was a term for that. ******* mercenary. What is that? By Hessians. The only thing I would call a mission was like in high school would be like go to 711 for blunt wraps or like something like that. Like Yo bust Amish. That's only mission as a civilian. You busted. Yeah, well, I mean if you'd carry guns in to get those blunt wraps, you would have been as these guys value was pretty safe, you know? I mean. Oh boy. OK, so we're not going to take again. We're going to take a point by point. Look at every ****** ** defense Eric puts together. But we are going to talk a little bit more about the Nisour Square massacre. Now this is where several of Eric's employees fired machine guns and grenades into a crowd, killing 14 and wounding a **** load of people. Their story, and the story Prince tells, is that they were taking heavy incoming fire. Prince repeatedly references incoming AK47 fire and points out that a bullet damaged the coolant line of one of their vehicles. Now that doesn't gel with the testimony of Jeremy Ridgeway at Blackwater. This employee who was at nesar, I'm going to quote Fox News, this summary of it, just so you know, I'm not picking out some lefty source to make these guys right. This is the fox. This is probably the most charitable version. Ridgeway told a jury that he didn't see any Iraqis pointing guns and Nisour Square and that there were no telltale muzzle flashes in the distance, that there was no incoming fire, and that there was no sound of AK47 rounds going off, as would be the case of insurgents were shooting at the Blackwater Guards from nearby. Now, you'll remember, maybe, that a lot of these people were shot in the back. The civilians who died were found to have been shot in the back while they were running away. As a normal person would say it, Eric Prince phrases as they were shot in the back, presumably mistaken for retreating insurgents. So the military looked over everything, and their experts, who sure as **** had no vested interest in making it look like anyone had committed a war crime in Iraq, determined that this had been an excessive shooting. There had been no sign of incoming fire. Prince summarizes their view of the incident. It's A1 sided shooting rather than a massacre. Then he says it's safe to say that my men and I disagree with that assessment, except for the one that literally disagreed with the guy who testified again in a jury. Right? Whatever, just get hung up on. Let's not get hung up on that. Now, most of Eric's evidence seems to be that the investigators or that his own investigators later found a bullet in the grill of one of Blackwater's trucks. He says that the vehicles had been shot up in all of the fighting, but that they had to. DoD rules said that all of the vehicles had to be in good repair, so we were acquired by. Contract to immediately repair the vehicles and that's why there wasn't ohh right, right, right. And we didn't really take pictures either, but they were there, he says. They took pictures, he hasn't, but were they at? Where they at? I'm gonna guess if he had pictures that went to the army and they did not find them compelling. They did find a bullet in the grill of one of Blackwater's trucks. But it was just a bullet. We don't know what type of bullet it was. It was damaged enough that they could not definitively tie it to any particular kind of weapon. And we know that Blackwater has been were shooting like crazy. Bullets ricochet. You know, in a war zone where people are shooting, bullets wind up in weird ******* places. It's entirely possible one of their rounds ricocheted and got embedded in the grill of this truck. It no way to, no way to say one way or the other. A single bullet in the grill of this truck is thin evidence to hold against the army when their investigators say nobody was shooting at you, right? Yeah. Now, in 2014, four of Prince's men were convicted, three of them for manslaughter and one for first degree murder. But last August 2017, a federal appeals court threw out the convictions for three of them in order to retrial the man with the murder conviction, Nicholas Slatten, was a sniper who the government accused of having fired the first shots. But during the trial, another mercenary admitted to shooting first, so his conviction was dropped. The other two had their convictions thrown out because the prosecutors had used a U.S. law made to prosecute domestic criminals to give them extra long sentences since they had committed the crime with machine guns. Umm. So basically if you commit a crime in the US or the machine gun, you get additional sentence. The prosecutors were saying, basically look at all the people these guys killed. We owe it to those dead civilians to try and get these guys as much time as possible so they use that law. But the jury rightfully was like it was their job to carry machine guns. It is ******** to give them extra time for them. That's not legally wrong, right? So they didn't get off the case because they were legitimately innocent. It was the prosecutors who a little overzealous. Yeah, exactly. Now, Eric Inns his book by talking about his charities and making it seem like he's enjoying the peaceful retirement of a true American hero quote, it remains to be seen what my future might hold. Tomorrow was one less day than I've got now, and only God knows how many more I'll have. But in the meantime, I'm enjoying a quieter life. I had a small Hobie cat, which is a type of boat, delivered to our home in Abu Dhabi today, shortly after my family relocated. The kids are still learning their way around the fiberglass catamaran, the same way I once poked around with our Boston whaler back in Michigan. But most every day in Abu Dhabi is a good day to swim across the Bay, catching the next gust of wind, teaching my own children to feel at home on the water. Of course, while he was in Abu Dhabi writing this, he was also teaching an army of Colombian mercenaries to fight on behalf of the Emirati government. Dozens of those men and God knows how many other people are now dead in Yemen, so it's hard to catamarans too, like, little link to now he's armed catamaran, so it's hard to say what the future is going to be for Eric Prince, his new Navy and the new Air Force. I'm sure he's right around the corner from getting his hands on. I'm going to guess whatever that future is, it's going to involve a lot of body bags. Ohh, Eric. Eric. I'm just living a quiet life now in Abu Dhabi. Yeah, what the? Training a small mercenary army for repressive theocratic regime exactly like you do. I'm like, I'm like the the guys at the end of Shawshank redemption, but with a mercenary army that's going to be used to commit war crimes in Yemen. Hessians. Let's call them Hessians. Ohh well, I it's it's so wild because he truly is like the physical manifestation of capitalism in the military industrial complex. Like, all in one man, one ******* man. It's like the worst parts of all of those things. Just express themselves in the goo that turned into Eric Prince. Yeah, it's like the military industrial complex had a baby and with late stage capitalism. And there, there it is. It's Eric ******* Prince. One of the worst people who's ever lived. A true *******. True ******* *******. In fact, I'm going to get. I'm going to bump him above ******* and call him a real ***** ** ****. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Eric Prince. Everybody all right? Miles? You got some plugs to plug? Oh, let's see. Well, yeah, Glade plugins guys. They're available at most supermarkets right now. Please take that airwick. Also another pluggable, I love. But if you're free again, look Glaxo Smith Kline, you know? SC Johnson Wax, please holler at us. If you are looking for the more podcast route, I'm on the daily Zeitgeist with Jack O'Brien. We do that every day, talking news and culture, whatever's in the zeitgeist, as it were, and you find me on Twitter and Instagram at miles with Gray. That's about it. You can find me on Twitter at I write. OK, you can find my book on Amazon, a brief history of vice. It's I recreate weird, ancient drugs and damage my body. You can find this podcast on the Internet,, where you will find. All of the sources for this episode. You can also find us on Instagram and Twitter at at ******** pod. So check us out. Check us out on teepublic, where we have a store, you know, behind the ********. You can buy our T-shirts there, and some of that money will go to me and I will use that money to buy the liquor that I will use to drink myself into forgetting that Eric Prince exists. So help a brother out with buying T-shirts and let's get this Doritos campaign on. Yeah, yeah. Tweet. Why did you decide on why I eat? Burritos, right, if you have that, because guys, what we're trying to do is connect a action from the consumer to a media source and this is the, this is how capital and in fairness hundreds of you have already. Not impressed. When I see your guys social media and seeing the amount of people just like posing with Doritos, it's like dozens a week. Sometimes part of me gets really upset though, that it's this free advertising with no it's a good product. Right. With that. Good. The Stockholm syndrome. Yeah. You're like, it's fine. One day they'll recognize me and I do hope one day they will. But these are delicious. Well, if anything, we can say you are the Eric Prince of Doritos. Thank you. Make me the Eric Prince of Doritos. Tweet why I love Doritos. Hashtag why I eat hashtag. Why eat Doritos? Attach at the Doritos company at this podcast and we'll see what happens. Maybe, maybe I'll get my own catamaran. She does. She? I really hope so. You know what? You know what's actually gonna happen? Doritos is gonna steal your hashtag and do an actual ad campaign for like themselves and cut put you in the cold. That's how this **** works. If that's what happens, that's what happens. And my hope is that they buy me a catamaran with a machine gun. I mean, that's how this story actions like. Hey, look, sorry we couldn't optically, we couldn't get in bed with you with the Doritos thing. Here is a catamaran with machine. It is a catamaran with a machine gun. Sorry, it's soft skinned. You know, we can't we can't go all the way. Plan on delivering kitchen supplies much heavier when you have an armored catamaran. Alright guys, I love about 40% of you and Brian I. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break our handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey y'all, it's Caroline Hobby hosted get real with Caroline Hobby interviewing the most fascinating people in Nashville and beyond. I talked to artists, I talked to the wives of artists, I talked to women entrepreneurs who have created businesses, who are moms, who juggle a million hats and do it all. Each episode will leave you inspired, feeling like you can accomplish your own dream in calling. Listen to new episodes of get Real with Caroline Hobby. Every Monday on the Nashville podcast network, available on iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcast hey, it's Bobby Bones from the Bobby cast. We are Nashville's most listened to music podcast in depth interviews with your favorite country artists, plus the biggest songwriters and producers in Nashville, all from the comfort of my own home so it gets a little more laid back. They're sharing stories behind the biggest songs in country music and personal stories that you will not hear anywhere else. So if you love country music, I think you will love this podcast. Listen to the Bobby cast on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcast.