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Jan-17-2012 17:08TweetFollow @OregonNews
Rumor Mill Claims Monsanto Purchased Blackwater (XE) as its own Private ArmyTim King Salem-News.com
A translation mistake started an information whiplash; the nation's most deadly company, Monsanto, is not buying XE.
(SALEM) - The article 'Blackwater's Black Ops' - by Jeremy Scahill, carried by The Nation, was republished by a number of groups that took the additional step of concluding that Blackwater, Erik Prince's mercenary firm notorious for its crimes in Iraq, was purchased by Monsanto; the driving force behind both Agent Orange, the chemical sprayed on Vietnam that continues to devastate people, and Genetically Modified Food (GMO) which threatens the future of farmers worldwide. It turns out to that Monsanto did not purchase Blackwater (XE), however there is no question that the groups have done their share of dancing.
To be clear, Jeremy Scahill's article did not reach the conclusion now circulating about Monsanto's alleged purchase of XE, however blogs that ran their own versions of the story did. Scahill said, "My article was meticulously documented and claimed nothing of the sort." *
In the article 'Too Much of a Bad Thing: Monsanto Did NOT Buy Blackwater', Jeremy Bloom details how this not-quite-accurate information found its way onto the field.
Bloom explains that Jeremy Scahill's comprehensive take-down on Xe/Blackwater is based on internal emails. The Nation article states:
As it turns out, Xe was hired by Monsanto, not purchased by the old Agent Orange nightmare factory. Apparently what happened, is that Environmental Reporter, Silvia Ribeiro, with the Spanish-language La Jornada, newspaper, didn't quite catch the actual meaning of the above paragraph.
Ribeiro misinterpreted the quote about becoming an ‘intel arm’, and took its meaning quite literally. So the mistake is an error that was not made willfully; the languages sometimes just don't jive.
Jeremy Bloom goes on to explain that well-meaning people proceeded to post the news all over the Internet (usually without indicating the source). So the answer to the question, did Monsanto buy Xe or its subsidiary? Is no.
However the article about the alleged purchase is sure getting around. That unity... that ownership of XE would represent to Monsanto, is the last thing America needs. While the story is not what it was originally presented to be, it is a better outcome.
Here is Jeremy Bloom;s article: Too Much of a Bad Thing: Monsanto Did NOT Buy Blackwater - Red, Green and Blue
Here is the article by Jeremy Scahill: Blackwater's Black Ops - The Nation
* When initially published, this article contained a mistake linking Jeremy Scahill's article to the incorrect conclusion about the XE purchase, we apologize for the error.
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