Mystery Surrounds Contractors’ Role at CIA BaseJanuary 9, 2010
Two of the seven CIA personnel killed in last week’s suicide bombing in Afghanistan worked as contractors for the company formerly known as Blackwater, but what role Dane Paresi and Jeremy Wise played at the CIA’s forward base in Khost remains unknown. The base collected intelligence used in the CIA’s drone attacks across the border in Pakistan, but CIA director Leon Panetta has said that the former Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, is no longer involved in the drone program.
Spokesman for both the CIA and Xe/Blackwater declined to comment whether Paresi and Wise were employed through Xe, but two private intelligence sources and one current government official familiar with CIA operations at the Afghanistan base confirmed to ABCNEWS.com that the two were there as Xe employees. A source familiar with Xe’s contracts said that their role was not to provide security for the base, but provided no further details.
Paresi and Wise were both former elite military commandos, and were killed when a Jordanian double agent detonated a suicide bomb at a meeting inside the CIA base near the Pakistan border. Wise was a 35-year-old former Navy SEAL from Virginia Beach, Va. A statement from the family of the 46-year-old Dane Paresi described him as having recently retired from 27 years in the Army, many in Special Operations. He was from Portland, Ore.