This week, the Obama administration decided that the private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater—now Xe—is the most qualified organization to guard US consulates in Afghanistan, and has been awarded nearly a quarter-billion dollars to do so. Xe officials swear up and down that they’ve cleaned up their act and departed from the ways that made the Blackwater name infamous, but Jeremy Scahill, author of the book Blackwater, tells Keith Olbermann otherwise during his appearance on Countdown.

"They’ve cleaned up their act about as much as BP has cleaned up the Gulf," Scahill says. "Who knows what they’re doing around the world right now on behalf of the US government?" What’s almost more frightening is America’s dependence on private defense operations and the fact that among them, Xe is the leader. "If you review all of the companies and you determine that Blackwater is your best company, then you know that this country is in serious, serious trouble with its national security policy."

—Carrie Battan