Jan Schakowsky, a Democratic Congresswoman in the USA has received legal threats regarding comments she made regarding the Blackwater video game.
Congressman Schakowsky has long campaigned against independent military contractors such as the Blackwater company set up by former Navy Seal Erik Prince, and since renamed to 'Xe Services'.
In a September 8th piece in The Independent
newspaper entitled, 'Iraq mercenaries boss triggers rage with Blackwater video game', the Congresswoman is quoted as stating:
"Blackwater is a company of mercenaries who have operated in a way that compromises the safety, reputation, and lives of Americans and Iraqis, and whose employees have been guilty of killings.
"The notion of playing a game in which they are the hero is wrong on almost every level."
She then upped the level of criticism and aimed it straight at Mr Prince (who left Blackwater in 2009 but retained the naming rights and hence a direct relationship to the game itself).
"If Mr Prince had not emigrated to the United Arab Emirates," she said, "which does not have an extradition agreement with the US, he too would now be facing prosecution, the Congresswoman said. "His company has caused the death of innocent people without any accountability. It is inconceivable and appalling that a video game should celebrate his tough-guy image."
This has resulted in Mr Prince's legal representative Victoria Toensing sending rep Schakowsky a letter that includes the following:
"As you are surely aware, since articles quoting you are published in other countries, you are subject to defamation laws in those countries as well as in the United States.
"If you do not like the 'Blackwater
' video game, you are free to express your opinion. But you are not permitted under the laws of the United States and numerous countries where your statements are published to make false accusations about Mr. Prince's status under the criminal law."
According to the HuffPo
, Ms Schakowsky responded, "I want to make it clear to Mr. Prince that I will not stop working to end our reliance on private security contractors and to investigate any and all allegations of misconduct".
The fight continues...