Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blackwater at the Convention

Think Progress reports on the Blackwater display at the NRA convention, with this fascinating observation.

What’s interesting about this booth is the fact that Blackwater officially changed its name to Xe in 2009, recognizing that it needed to try to rebrand itself and escape from the taint of the Iraq massacre. However, the company still retains the Blackwater name for its “Pro Shop,” which sells gift shop-type products with the Blackwater logo to the public. So when the company is talking to the media or Capitol Hill, it’s presenting its brand new Xe face. But when it’s marketing itself to a certain segment of conservatives, Blackwater still sells.

What's your opinion? Why do you think a company like Blackwater is still popular among NRA conventioneers and gun owners in general? Do Blackwater personnel represent the kinds of manly values and patriotism that gun owners like, you know, the old "kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out" mentality? Is there something cool about that?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Once again, I see an attempt to read more into this than there is.

    It's true that "Xe" was chosen to rebrand, but as a result it's obscure. "Xe" brand merchandise is indistinguishable from "Joe's" brand merchandise.

    So what's the appeal of "Blackwater" brand merchandise? Some would have us think that buyers are thinking about "manly values and patriotism." It's more likely that buyers for military-style boots think "who knows military-style boots like mercenaries?"

  2. Blackwater (aka Xe Services) is associated with bribing government officials, kidnapping, child prostitution, tax evasion, gun running, waging a crusade against muslims, weapons stockpiling, recruiting death squad paramilitary personnel from Latin America and defrauding US taxpayers. Blackwater operates without oversight, transparency or accountability. Blackwater and other mercenary companies ignore the rules of engagement, kill and wound innocent civilians and place enlisted men and women in harms way. Please contact your Congressional representative and ask him/her to co-sponsor the Stop Outsourcing Security Act [S3023 and HR4650]. We must stop Blackwater and other out-of-control mercenaries that profit from violence, war and killing. For more information visit Xe Watch (aka Blackwater Watch)