The CIA in 2004 outsourced portions of a secret program to kidnap or assassinate terrorists to the controversial private security firm Blackwater USA, now called Xe Services, according to news reports.

The New York Times reports that according to current and former government officials, Blackwater’s involvement was a key factor in CIA Director Leon Panetta’s decision to cancel the program and divulge it to Congress during an emergency meeting with Congress in June. Congress had not been informed previously of the program’s existence, allegedly under orders from then-Vice President Dick Cheney, as The Christian Science Monitor reported last month.

Christian Science Monitor: Reports: CIA hired Blackwater to help assassinate terrorists

(via Disinfo)