In a rare audio recording obtained by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater, reveals his future plans for the mercenary army. In a January speech, Prince reminds his crowd he is off the record—to which Scahill returns that the American people have a right to know the details of this company which is funded 90 percent by American taxpayers. 

In his speech Prince said the US should send armed mercenaries into Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria—adding that Somalia, Yemen and Saudi Arabia face threats from Iran—the “dead center of badness.” Prince’s solution calls for more private sector contractors to be sent into the countries as he reveals that doing so leaves a “very light footprint” compared to the US Army.

The audio also reveals Prince at his best, offering himself up as a cultural imperialist. When asked if he ever worried about not having protection under the Geneva convention, Prince replied: “Absolutely not, because these people, they crawled out of the sewer and they have a 1200 AD mentality. They’re barbarians. They don’t even know where Geneva is, let alone that there was a convention there.”

Later this week, Scahill will be visiting an interfaith festival where Prince will speak in Holland, Michigan. “The organizers of the festival said that Prince was going to be talking about the value-based lessons of his childhood,” says Scahill. “Well, what about the values that Erik Prince’s forces have shown in Iraq when they’ve shot innocent civilians and stolen childhoods.”

—Clarissa León