Thursday, April 28, 2016 by JD Heyes
Millions of Americans remember the private mercenary force known as Blackwater for its involvement in an unprovoked attack that left scores of Iraqi civilians dead in 2007, but most have no idea that the firm had a business relationship as well with Monsanto.
As we reported in May 2013, the relationship between the world’s largest bio-ag company and producer of genetically modified foods and seeds and Blackwater was described by blogger Randy Ananda as “a death-tech firm weds a hit squad.”
As further reported by The Nation magazine, it appears that Monsanto hired Blackwater shortly after the Iraq incident to “protect the Monsanto brand,” which meant essential conducting intelligence operations against anti-Monsanto activists and their allies.
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“Through Total Intelligence and the Terrorism Research Center, Blackwater also did business with a range of multinational corporations,” the magazine reported. “According to internal Total Intelligence communications, biotech giant Monsanto—the world’s largest supplier of genetically modified seeds—hired the firm in 2008–09. The relationship between the two companies appears to have been solidified in January 2008 when Total Intelligence chair Cofer Black traveled to Zurich to meet with Kevin Wilson, Monsanto’s security manager for global issues.”
After that meeting, Black then sent an email to other executives of Blackwater, writing that Wilson “understands that we can span collection from the Internet, to reach out, to boots on the ground on legit basis protecting the Monsanto [brand] name… Ahead of the curve info and insight/heads up is what he is looking for.”
In addition, Black noted that Total Intelligence “would develop into acting as the intel arm of Monsanto.” He further stated that Monsanto officials were concerned about animal rights activists and they also discussed how Blackwater “could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally.” Black said that initial payments to Total Intelligence would be paid from Monsanto’s “generous protection budget” but eventually would become a line item in the company’s annual budget. In the email he estimated that potential payments to Total Intelligence would be between $100,000 and $500,000. According to documents obtained by The Nation, Monsanto wound up paying Total Intelligence $127,000 in 2008 and another $105,000 the following year.
In following up, the magazine said it contacted Wilson to inquire about the meeting with Black in Zurich, but Wilson initially stated, “I’m not going to discuss it with you.” In a subsequent email to the magazine, however, he confirmed that he met with Black in Switzerland and that his company had hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and worked with the company until early 2010.
Wilson denied that he and Black discussed infiltrating animal rights groups, saying “there was no such discussion” (in direct contradiction of Black’s email to his people). He claimed further that Total Intelligence really only gave Monsanto “reports about the activities of groups or individuals that could pose a risk to company personnel or operations around the world which were developed by monitoring local media reports and other publicly available information. The subject matter ranged from information regarding terrorist incidents in Asia or kidnappings in Central America to scanning the content of activist blogs and websites.” Wilson further asserted that Black told him Total Intelligence was “a completely separate entity from Blackwater.”
What is crystal clear, however, is that anyone who dared to challenge the GMO producer over its continued effort to dramatically alter the world’s food chain was a target – for intimidation, for silencing, for discrediting. And the company hired mercenary thugs to do its dirty work.
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