[Terrorisme international] Les habits neufs de Blackwater

Ex-Blackwater firm gets a name change, again

The private security contractor known as Blackwater rebranded itself as Xe Services nearly three years ago. Now, the firm is reinventing itself again.

On Monday, Xe announced that it was changing its name to Academi, part of a years-long effort by the company to shed a troubled legacy that critics said made the firm a symbol for mercenaries and impunity in Iraq and elsewhere.

In an interview, the company’s president and chief executive, Ted Wright, said the announcement was about more than a simple name change.

“We want to reflect the changes we made in the company,” he said, noting that the firm has new ownership, new leadership and a “refocused strategy on training and security services.”

The company also has unveiled a new Web site and logo. The tag on the Web site reads: “Elite Training. Trusted Protection.”

Xe was acquired by USTC Holdings, an investor consortium, in December 2010, and since then has tried to undergo a corporate makeover. Erik Prince, the former Navy SEAL who built the company, no longer has ties to the business. The firm formed a new board of directors to manage the company and picked up big Washington names in the process.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft now serves as ethics adviser, and Jack Quinn, a top lobbyist and former counsel to President Bill Clinton, is an independent director.

The company also has a new corporate headquarters, in Arlington, Va. Its main training facility is still in Moyock, N.C.

When Blackwater began calling itself Xe in 2009, a spokesman for the firm said the name had no particular significance. On Monday, Wright said the name change this time had a more deliberate meaning.

Academi, pronounced “academy,” was chosen, he said, in part to evoke the ideas of a Platonic academy, where the ethos is of excellence, honor and discipline.

“That’s what we want our ethos to be in the future — trained thinkers and warriors,” he said.

Leur presse (Jason Ukman, The Washington Post, 12 décembre 2011)


Après Blackwater Inc., après Xe, voici Academi

Un nouveau nom et un nouveau logo ! Ted Wright, le président de la société autrefois appelée Blackwater USA, Blackwater Worldwide puis Blackwater Inc., et ensuite Xe, a annoncé au Wall Street Journal que la société allait désormais s’appeler « Academi ». Rien n’a filtré à ce sujet dans la dernière livraison de la lettre électronique de Blackwater : le Blackwater Tactical Weekly dont j’ai reçu dimanche le « volume 1, issue 9 »…

Si Wright a choisi le prestigieux WSJ, c’est parce qu’il veut « envoyer des signaux » aux décideurs de Washington et leur montrer que la société est en train de se refaire une virginité. Comme l’a dit Wright au WSJ : « On va essayer d’être ennuyeux », c’est-à-dire qu’ils vont essayer de gagner de l’argent sans faire parler d’eux, sans attirer l’attention médiatique, et de faire dans le légal et non plus dans le sensationnel. On verra bien…

L’ex Blackwater appartient désormais à USTC Holdings qui a décidé de relooker l’image de la société créée par Erik Prince et qui est devenu le symbole des SPER anglo-saxonnes déployées en Irak. Les activités de la société sont toujours de deux types : sécurité et formation (via la structure US Training Center).

Leur presse (Philippe Chapleau, blog Lignes de défense, 12 décembre 2011)

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