With their prospects for fleecing the U.S government in Iraq beyond 2009 drying up, Blackwater Worldwide is diversifying like mad. First it was flying spy machines, today it’s angling to train soldiers in Darfur and providing sellswords for international shipping companies trying to avoid pirates on the high seas. With a federal murder indictment over the slaying of 17 unarmed Iraqis looming and a reputation for using excessive force, gouging Uncle Sam, and flouting the law, one would think Blackwater would have a credibility problem.

Not when you have the best political connections and lobbyists money can buy — don’t forget John McCain’s own chief strategist Charlie Black was once hired to coach CEO Erik Prince before he testified before congress — plus free advertising with military news outlets and gushing conservative media. Yes, Prince and his little start-up-that-could are well on their way to riding the Global War on Terror gravy train for all it’s worth.