In an interview scheduled to air on Al Jazeera's YouTube channel Friday morning, journalist Mehdi Hasan confronts former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince over comments Prince made about Iraqis and the bloody history of his mercenary company.
"What drives you, when you kind of, come up with these plans to do private security especially in a lot of these Muslim-majority countries?" Hasan asked Prince in a clip posted to Twitter Wednesday. "Because you yourself have referred to the people your men were fighting in Iraq as barbarians who crawled out of the sewer."
Prince said that he was referring to "terrorists," a point Hasan conceded while pointing out that Prince's wording in the quote suggested the mercenary saw all Iraqis as terrorists.
"You said, 'These were the chanting barbarians American troops had been sent to liberate?'" Hasan said. "You weren't sent to liberate 'terrorists.' It sounds like you're talking about Iraqis."
Hasan's question left Prince at a loss for words, though Prince did, after a few seconds, deflect to attacking Saddaam Hussein and pointing out that he wasn't behind the policy decision to invade Iraq.
I asked Blackwater founder Erik Prince about calling Iraqis "barbarians" and about the murder & manslaughter that happened on his watch in Iraq.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) March 6, 2019
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In the clip, Hasan also brought up the conviction of four Blackwater employees for murder and manslaughter for their actions in Iraq. Prince, smiling, replied that it took four times to convict the men and implied that the federal government had to bring the case in Washington, D.C., in order to secure a conviction.
"Is a D.C. jury not a legitimate jury?" asked Hasan.
"I would say, a jury of your peers does not compare to the rest of America? No," Prince said.
"So some juries are legitimate, some not," said Hasan. "Like so-called judges."
The full interview is scheduled to air Friday morning. Watch: