RETRACTION: Monsanto DID NOT buy Blackwater/Xe. They merely rented it.


My last post was, as it turns out, overhasty and underthorough; a Mr. Jeremy Bloom of the Great American Northwest has described the situation exactly (at least from my experience) so I thought I would thank him and spread his post by way of retraction. Thank you, Mr. Bloom. (My apologies, Mr. Scahill).

Too Much of a Bad Thing: Monsanto Did NOT Buy Blackwater

How do internet lies get spread? By well-meaning people who pass things on without checking.
Monsanto is one of the worst companies in the world, so it should come as no surprise that they hired an arm of Xe (the mercenary company formerly known as Blackwater) to dig up dirt on anti-GMO activists.
Fortunately, and contrary to a number of reports circulation on the internet, the world’s biggest purveyor of genetically modified seeds that has been doing its best to destroy traditional farming from Iowa to Iraq did NOT decide it needed to purchase its own mercenary army.
Here’s what happened.
Jeremy Scahill wrote a comprehensive take-down on Xe/Blackwater, based on internal emails, in The Nation.
The Nation article says:
“One of the most incendiary details in the documents is that Blackwater, through [subisidiary] Total Intelligence, sought to become the “intel arm” of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.”
That means Xe was hired by Monsanto. Not that they were bought by them. But somewhere along the line, Silvia Ribeiro, a Spanish-speaking researcher on environmental issues, read that article and misunderstood what the author meant by “become an ‘intel arm’ and took it literally. She published a Spanish-language article in La Jornada, it got translated into English by (of all things!) Pravda online, conspiracy websites picked up on it, and well-meaning people proceeded to post the news all over the Internet (usually without indicating the source).
Did Monsanto buy Xe or its subsidiary? No.
“…According to internal Total Intelligence communications, biotech giant Monsanto… hired the firm in 2008–09.”
“Hired by” is not the same as “was bought by”.
“…Black added that Total Intelligence ‘would develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto.”
‘Black also noted that Monsanto was concerned about animal rights activists and that they discussed how Blackwater ‘could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally.’ Black wrote that initial payments to Total Intelligence would be paid out of Monsanto’s ‘generous protection budget’ but would eventually become a line item in the company’s annual budget. He estimated the potential payments to Total Intelligence at between $100,000 and $500,000. According to documents, Monsanto paid Total Intelligence $127,000 in 2008 and $105,000 in 2009.”
Xe is a mutli-million dollar organization. They were paid a couple of hundred thousands dollars to do some intel work (probably nasty and illegal stuff).
This is ALL OVER the Internet right now, all based on one piece of confused reporting.

My apologies to my Gentle Readers. Monsanto did not want to purchase Xe; they just wanted to rent it... for a year or two...



Looking for a chateau
Twenty-one rooms but one will do
Looking for a chateau
Twenty-one rooms but one will do
I don't want to buy it
I just want to rent it for an hour or two
I met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
I met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
I didn't want to be mean about it
But I didn't have one good word to say
West L.A. fadeaway
West L.A. fadeaway
Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey hey hey
I had a steady job
Hauling items for the mob
I had a steady job
Hauling items for the mob
Y'know the pay was pathetic
It's a shame those boys couldn't be more copacetic
I meet a West L.A. girl
Already know what I need to know
I meet a West L.A. girl
I already know what I need to know
Name, address and phone number
Lord and just how far to go
West L .A. Fadeaway
West L. A. Fadeaway
Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey hey hey
Looking for a chateau
Twenty-one rooms but one will do
Looking for a chateau
Twenty-one rooms but one will do
I don't want to rent it
I just want to use it for a minute or two
West L. A. Fadeaway
West L. A. Fadeaway
Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey hey hey
"West L.A. Fadeaway"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing

Listen to the song : its perfect.



UPDATE:

Well, somebody bought them: but we as yet have no evidence this was Monsanto (certainly that was not what Scahill reported).

See Jeremy Bloom's update here.




Be seeing you.

4 COMMENTS - LEAVE YOURS! IT'S EASY NOW! (*i hope*):

poorrichard said...

That one didn't work out so well.. Damn I'm going to leave my post of it up.. Buy/Rent what's the difference? If Mike wants to remove it he will.

Anonymous said...

Monsanto DID buy Blackwater,Monsanto DID buy Blackwater, Monsanto DID buy Blackwater,Monsanto DID buy Blackwater,Monsanto DID buy Blackwater,Monsanto DID buy Blackwater,Monsanto DID buy Blackwater,Monsanto DID buy Blackwater....Retract ALL you like BUT
Monsanto DID buy Blackwater,Monsanto DID buy Blackwater...Lonster

Maju said...

Some insist that they eventually did buy Blackwater (now Academi) as of July 2013: http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/yes-monsanto-actually-did-buy-the-blackwater-mercenary-group/

Read in full because the article has many nuances: the middleman "owner" is a private equity company, USTC Holdings, owned by Forte Capital Advisors and Manhattan Partners. The article argues for Monsanto ties but I can't see any clear evidence.

a female Faust said...

thanks Maju -- i am checking it out...



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