My wife Susan Burke heads to the United Arab Emirates this weekend to depose Blackwater Founder Erik Prince as part of one of her civil lawsuits against him. As reported in yesterday’s New York Times, Susan has brought suit against Prince on behalf of former Blackwater employees accusing Prince of defrauding the government. Susan has already settled seven suits against Prince related to the shooting of innocent Iraqi citizens in Nisour square in 2007.
According to James Risen of the Times, Prince moved to Abu Dhabi “after a series of civil lawsuits, criminal charges and Congressional investigations singled out Blackwater or its former executives and other personnel.” Now called Xe Services, Blackwater has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. government since 2001. Its employees have become known for “cowboy tactics” and the “use of excessive tactics while guarding convoys of United States diplomats, leading to complaints from Iraqis and friction with the United States military.”
Prince sought to avoid giving a deposition in this case by claiming that he needed to be in Abu Dhabi in time for his children to begin school there on August 15. It is unclear what English-speaking school in the country begins any time before September. But, calling his bluff, Susan offered to travel herself to Abu Dhabi to take the deposition there, and the judge granted the order. As the old expression goes, if you can’t bring Mohammed to the mountain, you bring the mountain to Mohammed.