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KAI RYSSDAL: A government contractor named Erik Prince found himself in a most unwelcome spotlight today — trying to explain his company’s business to its most important customer.
Prince is the CEO of Blackwater, the private security firm that until two weeks ago had largely avoided the headlines. But in the wake of a deadly shooting in Baghdad last month, Congress has openly started to wonder whether security contractors are a good deal.
Democrat Henry Waxman posed exactly that question at a House Oversight Committee hearing this morning:
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: If the costs are higher and performance is worse, then I don’t understand why we’re doing this. It makes no sense to pay more for less.
Blackwater CEO Prince defended his costs of business and also the reputation of his company:
ERIK PRINCE: This idea that we have this private army in the wings is just not accurate. The people that we employee are former U.S. military and law enforcement people.
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