Like a cancer, private mercenary firm spreads influence in local communities. When the private military company Blackwater USA, a firm tied to the Bush family through marriage and to right-wing extremist and racist groups through politics and money, established its headquarters in Moyock, North Carolina in an former military reservation in the Great Dismal Swamp, just south of the Virginia border, practically no one noticed.
Blackwater was founded in 1997 by Erik Prince, a former US Navy SEAL and right-wing fundamentalist Christian from Michigan. Prince’s father is Edgard Prince, who founded the Family Research Council with Gary Bauer. Erik Prince’s sister is Betty DeVos, who is married to Dick DeVos, the son of Amway co-founder and Mormon bigwig Richard DeVos. The General Counsel for Erik Prince’s Blackwater parent company, the Prince Group, is Joseph Schmitz, the Pentagon’s former Inspector General. Schmitz’s brother, John Schmitz, Jr. deputy counsel to George H. W. Bush and who is married to the sister of Columba Bush, Jeb Bush’s wife.
The father of John and Joseph was extreme right-wing Republican Congressman John Schmitz, Sr. Their sister is Mary Kay Letourneau, a former Washington State schoolteacher jailed for having sex with a thirteen year old American Samoan student who she later married.
Safely ensconced in North Carolina and flush with money as a result of Pentagon contracts ensured by Joseph Schmitz and the Bush family, Blackwater began to expand nationally. Using stealth and guile, the company targeted small communities in order to establish regional military training centers.