Monday, December 12, 2011

[SDCPJ] Blackwater changes name again

Ha! John Ashcroft as the company's "ethics" adviser--give me a break! And what an insult to Plato to invoke his values in their choice of new name!

To: vvawnet@vvaw.org
Sent: 12/12/2011 9:19:31 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
Subj: [vvawnet] Blackwater, once Xe, now changes its name again-invokes Plato

[Washington Post]
9:26 AM ET, 12/12/2011
Ex-Blackwater firm gets a name change, again
By _Jason Ukman_
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/jason-ukman/2011/03/02/ABr5GIQ_page.html)
The private security contractor known as Blackwater renamed itself Xe
Services nearly three years ago. Now, the firm is rebranding itself again.
On Monday, Xe announced that it was _changing its name to Academi_
(http://academi.com/pages/news-room/press-releases/2011-12-12) , 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_ (http://academi.com/) and
logo. The tag on the Web site reads: "Elite Training. Trusted Protection."
Xe was acquired by _USTC Holdings_
(http://www.ustraining.com/new/index.asp) , 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_
(http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2011/05/04/Ashcroft-named-to-Xe-Services-chairmanship/UPI-31271304535702/) now serves as ethics adviser, and _Jack Quinn_
(http://www.ustraining.com/new/JackQuinn.asp) , 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.
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