About Me

My Photo
I saw active service in conventional, clandestine and covert units of the South African Defence Force. I was the founder of the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes in 1989 and its chairman until I left in 1997. Until its closure in 1998, EO operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West and were facing threats from insurgencies, terrorism and organised crime. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I believe that only Africans (Black and White) can truly solve Africa’s problems. I was appointed Chairman of STTEP International in 2009 and also lecture at military colleges and universities in Africa on defence, intelligence and security issues. Prior to the STTEP International appointment, I served as an independent politico-military advisor to several African governments. I am a contributor to The Counter Terrorist magazine. All comments in line with the topics on this blog are welcome. As I consider this to be a serious look at military and security matters, foul language and political or religious debates will not be entertained on this blog.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION

When I was very recently approached by an independent Russian television station and asked why I was setting up offices in Moscow, I was more than just a litle surprised.

This question was put to me by the interviewer as a new South African company claiming to be a “reconstutitued” Executive Outcomes is now Russia-bound. Operating as “Professional Outcomes” these men, according to my sources in Russia, are apparently enroute to “sort out” problems in that country.

I initially found this to be very amusing but then it struck me that those people and companies out there claiming to either have founded or to have been part of Executive Outcomes ought to be exposed for the liars and conmen they are. Besides, the registration of the company in 1989 by myself ought to still be available at the Registrar of Companies in Pretoria thus giving anyone who really wants to know when and by who the company was registered the information they seek.

A lttle digging into “Professional Outcomes” brought up some very interesting information: There is a strong belief that they are a front company for an intelligence agency. I advised the Russians accordingly as I have now got to the point where I can no longer stand by and allow fraudsters to claim their involvement in the company. Besides, I still have a duty towards the real men - both black and white - who served EO so loyally and therefore I cannot allow these people to tarnish the repution of those good men that established EO’s reputation.

Professional Outcomes are not the only ones riding the crest of someone else’s success. What I find rather surprising is that given how hard some intelligence services, especially the South African ones worked at fabricating false intelligence reports to prevent EO helping African and other governments, they now want to ride the EO bandwagon. It appears that one of the principles of establishing cover has been either forgotten or overlooked.

It has become semi-common knowledge that there are a few PMCs out there that claim to be the reincarnation of EO. In one instance, they even claim to be the “real” EO. I am aware of two such companies in the USA and one in Australia. Maybe there are several more operating under the radar that I am blissfully unaware of. It appears as though some of them have even negotiated contracts based on this fallacy.

Then there is the Simon Mann myth: Despite the claims, he was never a founder-member let alone even a member of EO. Nor was he ever the “close friend” of mine as some journalists and bloggers claim he was. In fact, I would have been ashamed to have had him as a senior member of the company. But this never stopped him from insinuating that he was in some manner or form the founder of the company. On his latest adventure, he apparently even recruited men by somehow intimating that he was doing it on behalf of EO. But, talk is one thing and look where it got him.

There are others who likewise are out there winning contracts on the basis of their fabricated involvement in EO.

I find it a great pity that there are people out there that are willing to stoop so low and falsely lay claim to what some very good men built up with their sweat and blood. An ever greater pity that these frauds (I can think of no other name for them) never had anything to do with EO but now swagger about with a “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” attitude and by implication act as though they were part of the company. This is a slap in the face of the good men who served in EO and gave their all to the company and those governments that contracted us.

One trait a PMC ought to have is integrity. Sadly, these men seem to have none and therefore are blots on the names of those PMCs who are honourable and do the best they can, often under very difficult and trying conditions.

As I still have the complete name list of everyone who worked for EO, I would gladly verify any queries a company or organisation may have regarding a person who claims to be an ex-EO member. As every EO member had a specific “book number” – this was the person’s EO identity and file number – it will be very easy to establish his bona-fides.

As far as I am concerned, it is a crime to represent yourself or your company as something it isn’t and never was. Crime and associated elements such as security and personal protection are subjects I will shortly be addressing.

But first of many on the agenda will be the UN’s spectacular failures in Africa. After all, freedom of speech is something the UN subscribes to.

21 comments:

He of difficult days said...

If you are exposing the lies of bogus PMCs (who may stand to lose contracts as a result) then you should not be shy to make routine back ups of your blog...

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for your very good advice! I suspect that your thoughts may become a reality sooner rather than later. I am following your advice as I am such a rookie to this blog-business. Any help in keeping me going will be appreciated.

Rgds,

Eeben

He of difficult days said...

Backup Blog on line

Here, have a look at this. Take it, dont take it...

:-)

Censorbugbear said...

Good information.Thanks.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Many thanks "He of Difficult Days". Your advice is much appreciated. I shall do that immediately.

Rgds,

Eeben

Para Bellum said...

Hi Eeben,

I worked for EO in the middle 90's in Angola, and was mainly inolved in heavy weapons training at Rio Longa and I loved every minute of it.

I did get to see some other places in the east and north however.

You're right. The truth will out, and by definition "There can be only one!".

Kind Regards.

Vis Sic Pacem, Para Bellum!!

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for your contribution towards the company Para Bellum. You were all truly giants among men and I will always remain proud of what you all achieved.

Rgds,

Eeben

Aethyr said...

First of all I would like to say that I really appreciate it to see that you spend your valuable time writing a blog!

Second: I read your book and your reports of companies claiming to be an EO successor. I had this problems in mind when I read at erlassjahr.de (which gets involved with the debt relief of underdeveloped countries) that beside other creditors a company named Executive Outcomes sued the Sierra Leonean Government for outstanding debts. Is this also some kind of EO Successor or a real attempt of you guys to get what you deserve?

Your book really is worth reading, though I had to wonder about one goof-up. Maybe it is already taken care of but the german Defense Forces are not called "Wehrmacht" since the end of the second World War. It's slightly different: Bundeswehr!

I think I bothered you enough! Thank you for your time and I am looking forward to every word in this blog.

kind Regards
David

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for your comments re the blog and book – I do appreciate it.

The company that tried to sue the SL government was one US-based imposter company. The CEO of this “EO” (Di Pofi) was arrested in the US after trying to either threaten/blackmail the SL government. I understand he is now in prison?

I used the old term “Wehrmacht” because the officers I met were adamant that they were from the Wehrmacht as opposed to the Bundeswehr. Although they were being humorous about it, I used the term “Wehrmacht” in case there was a denial that we ever helped them. But, thank you for pointing that out.

You will never be a bother as long as you keep visiting the blog!

Rgds,

Eeben

Aethyr said...

Thank you for clearing that up! After second guessing... I could have thought about the possibility that you used the Term "Wehrmacht" kinda ironic because it was written in Italic.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the UN. It's a shame how they fail in Africa. One has only to look at the Congo these days.

kind regards
David

Gatvol said...

Eeben
Great Coffee in SA. Heres to a successful blog. We will try and get attendance up and into some serious dialouge.
Spell check never helps me when I need it.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It was a pleasure to share coffee and a chin-wag with you. Enjoy the rest of your time in SA.

Rgds,

Eeben

Stupid said...

Have you seen EO's description in Wikipedia? They have portrayed it positively, although they incorrectly mention Simon Mann as one of the founder members.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Wikipedia have simply done what many other “researchers” have done – gone to google or a similar search engine and made whatever was there their own. But, one of the fundamental elements of disinformation is that when you tell a lie enough times, it eventually becomes the “truth”.

It is a great pity that Wikipedia have also deemed it quite unnecessary to do proper research on some issues and thus compound certain mistruths.

Regards,

Eeben

Stupid said...

They have a very broad readership. It might be worthwhile telling them where they have been misleading people even though one must except that they will not necessarily be receptive to everyone’s input. But you are after all Eeben Barlow. Now I’m having to wonder what is fact and what is fiction.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I know they have an incredible readership but for as long as I can remember EO being in the news, Mann was always added as a founder/director/chairman and what not. Where that came from no one knows. The more I denied it, the more it was seen as “fact”. Sometimes, you just cannot win.

Part of my motivation for starting this blog was to cover matter related to defence and security – and of course to also be able to put my thoughts down on certain matters without it being twisted in the media to suit someone else’s aims.

I can appreciate your wondering what is fact and what is fiction – I will also be addressing the media (mind you, only certain segments of it) and their role of informing or misinforming the public, and the results that come from such actions.

Rgds,

Eeben

Stupid said...

Thanks. I'll keep reading your blog!

Censorbugbear said...

Eeben I have posted your comments on the following story

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/262859 and one of the readers wants to know if you can obtain verification on whether these shipping companies dump their old ships by using piracy as an excuse. Please email me if you want to at a.j.stuijt@knid.nl or better yet, post your comment directly on that link.

Censorbugbear said...

One can change the Wikipedia information yourself if you sign on. It's free. If the information is incorrect, you can say so and tell them why.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you Censorbugbear. I shall in due course respond to that question.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Again, thank you. I was also sent an email by someone else telling me that I can make these changes. I shall be doing so in the very near future.

Rgds,

Eeben