Ive reported on a billionaire mercenary for years. Now hes taking us to court.

Blackwater’s founder is using the legal system to try to silence the free press and keep his activities out of the public eye.




Did you see this message? I’ve spent years reporting on Erik Prince. Now he’s suing The Intercept. Stand for press freedom with a donation today.


Erik Prince, the billionaire mercenary who founded the private security firm Blackwater, is suing The Intercept.

Jeremy Scahill and other Intercept journalists have reported on Prince for years, tracing his activities from the days of Blackwater’s deadly operations in Iraq to his more recent turn as a Trump apparatchik and attempted power broker in the world of international arms.

He claims that an article examining efforts to sell military services to a sanctioned Russian company defamed him.

The Intercept stands by its reporting, but the stakes are much higher. Prince is... just the latest billionaire to use the legal system to try to silence the free press and keep his activities out of the public eye.

This lawsuit could have a powerful chilling effect on press freedom everywhere. The Intercept has already paid over $200,000 in legal fees and costs — a bill many smaller outlets would never be able to afford.

Our nonprofit newsroom can take on challenging stories like this — and the resulting legal battles — because of the stalwart support of generous readers like you. Your donation today will ensure that The Intercept will never be bullied away from a story:

If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

DONATE $15 →

DONATE $25 →

DONATE $50 →

DONATE $100 →

DONATE ANOTHER AMOUNT →

Journalism that reports on powerful figures like Prince makes enemies.

Just months ago, Prince told a reporter from another outlet that “if you publish private information about me, I’ll be sure to return the favor.”

Under Prince’s leadership, Blackwater was responsible for the single largest known massacre of Iraqi civilians at the hands of private U.S. security contractors when its operatives gunned down 17 civilians at a crowded intersection at Nisour Square in 2007 in an incident dubbed “Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday.”

While some of the low-level guards involved in the massacre were convicted of murder or manslaughter, no charges were leveled against Prince and other executives. Prince sold the company formerly known as Blackwater in 2010, but we’ve continued to report on his activities as he’s pursued a variety of new ventures in the murky world of international private security.

At The Intercept, we never want to walk away from any important story for fear that legal harassment could shut us down. But to keep bringing the actions of the wealthy and powerful to light, we need to be ready to fight.

As an Intercept reader, your support helps ensure that we can never be silenced by Prince — or any other powerful figure who would rather not be troubled by a free press. Will you make a donation and support our crucial investigative journalism and legal work today?

STAND WITH THE INTERCEPT →

Thank you,

Jeremy Scahill Co-founder

First Look Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (tax ID number 80-0951255).

The Intercept’s mailing address is:
First Look Institute
P.O. Box 27442
Washington, DC 20038

The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Our in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more. Email is an important way for us to communicate with The Intercept’s readers, but if you’d like to stop hearing from us, click here to r0 from all communications. Protecting freedom of the press has never been more important. Contribute now to support our independent journalism.

Login Form