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Blackwater scandal deepens
Wed Oct 3, 2007 01:07
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US News
Blackwater scandal deepens



US ambassador L. Paul Bremer (front L) and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh (front R) guarded by private US security company personnel at the Baghdad International Airport. The Iraqi government revoked the license of Blackwater USA, one of the most prominent private US security firms operating in Iraq, after a firefight left eight civilians dead on 16 September 2007. EPA/STF. SGT. D. MYLES CULLEN/POOL

By Karyn Chenoweth Oct 2, 2007, 4:16 GMT

U.S. security contractor Blackwater has been involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq since 2005 and, in eight of 10 cases, their forces fired first, a leading U.S. lawmaker said on Monday, reported Reuters.

State Department contractor Blackwater is under investigation for the shooting deaths of 11 Iraqis on September 16, they will answer questions about that incident and its performance in Iraq at a Congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Senior State Department officials will also be grilled by the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examining whether the growing use of military contractors is undermining U.S. efforts in Iraq.

Committee chair Rep. Henry Waxman, a vocal critic of the Iraq war, released details from Blackwater's own reports of multiple incidents involving Iraqi casualties.
The memorandum also deeply criticized the State Department's oversight of the company.

Reuters claims it contains reports of 195 shooting incidents from the start of 2005 until September 12 of this year, an average of 1.4 per week.

"In 32 of those incidents, Blackwater were returning fire after an attack while on 163 occasions (84 percent of the shooting incidents), Blackwater personnel were the first to fire," Waxman said.

Blackwater, which has been paid a little over $1 billion by the U.S. government since 2001, declined to comment on Waxman's memorandum.

"We look forward to setting the record straight on this and other issues" when Erik Prince, Blackwater's chief, testifies before the committee, spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said, reported Reuters.

Waxman also criticized the State Department's handling of several incidents involving Blackwater and incidents of paying off victims' families, rather than investigating.
"It appears that the State Department's primary response was to ask Blackwater to make monetary payments to put the 'matter behind us' rather than to insist upon accountability or to investigate Blackwater personnel for potential criminal liability," said the memorandum.

In a shooting incident on December 24, 2006, a security guard for Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi was killed by an allegedly drunken Blackwater contractor, who was then flown out of the country and faced no charges.

One incident allegedly claimed Blackwater shooters killed an "innocent Iraqi."

Waxman said the State Department requested only a $5,000 payment to "put this unfortunate matter behind us quickly."

Blackwater protects U.S. embassy convoys in Iraq and, along with two other contractors, DynCorp and Triple Canopy, has a worldwide lucrative security deal with the State Department.

Waxman said reports provided by Blackwater show the North Carolina-based firm was involved in more shooting incidents in Iraq than the other two companies combined.

page: 1

RogérOct 2nd, 2007 - 07:23:47

The caption next to the picture above reads: '...after a firefight left eight civilians dead on 16 September 2007.'

The body count is getting lower over time; Iraqi police counted 18 killed, Americans watered it down, with help of the media, to 11 ... now it's only eight left. Soon, the incident did not occur at all or becomes a fistfight.

Report this comment

...Oct 2nd, 2007 - 13:36:36

Mercenaries ... Lol


Thats what you get when you make buisness with such guys. Nothing but trouble.

Report this comment

abeOct 2nd, 2007 - 15:16:11

The Board and personnel list of Blackwater constitutes a fine example of what your current administration is like .One moment you are in the Pentagon investigating and handing out contracts to private security corporations and one month later you are a member of the board of Blackwater ? An exeption ?Certainly not ,Blackwater ,the Republican Party ,the Pentagon and the White House are one branch of the military industrial complex ,easy to identify because the ties are so easy for all to view.They loot the taxpayer,hand out hefty sums from it to friends ,swap jobs and reward each other for services rendered to Blackwater. .You will not be surprised to learn that Kenneth Starr ,the fine gentleman that spent 30 million dollars taxpayer's money on an inquiry to discover that Bill Clinton got a blow job from Lewinsky is now rewarded by a job as a council to Blackwater .I guess his moral crusade has ended there and then .

Report this comment

SP4: Well AbeOct 2nd, 2007 - 17:28:34

Let's review:

Clinton wasn't impeached for the blow job, he was impeached for lying to a federal judge about it. His peers at the trial bar, took his law license away for it, so I suspect they had an ax to grind, and they CERTAINLY are not part of the phony mil-ind complex.

These private rent a cops are put in impossible circumstances, for the lure of huge money, and then get pilloried for saving their own lives. Hell, I'd drink too!

How many of these stories have we seen debunked? How many lopsided judgements i.e. 9 years for a kid who made a prisoner act like a dog or some other rediculous judgement have we seen?
==========================

RECORDED: 2/11/07 C-SPAN HEARING ON BLACKWATER CONTRACTORS IN IRAQ

AUDIO:
http://www.apfn.net/pogo/L001I070211-blackwater1.MP3

AUDIO:
http://www.apfn.net/pogo/L002I070211-backwater2.MP3

AUDIO:
http://www.apfn.net/pogo/L003I070211-blackwater3.MP3


# BLACKWATER a/k/a Christian Freedom International Hampton Roads "Blackwater Top Brass" Thu Feb 8, 2007
http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149495;article=109104;search_term=BLACKWATER

# Blackwater was founded in 1997 GOOGLE NEWS: BLACKWATER Thu Feb 8, 2007
http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149495;article=109103;search_term=BLACKWATER

Blackwater was founded and is owned by Erik Prince.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Prince

Christian Freedom International
P.O. Box 535
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
1-800-323-CARE (2273)
1-540-636-8907
info@christianfreedom.org
Self Help/Imports Warehouse
999B Shenandoah Shores Road
Front Royal, VA 22630
1-800-323-CARE (2273)

Erik Prince
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Erik Prince, born in 1969 in Holland, Michigan, is the founder and owner of the military support contractor Blackwater USA. A millionaire and former US Navy SEAL, after high school he briefly enrolled in the Naval Academy before attending and graduating from Hillsdale College. After college, he earned a commission in the Navy and served as a Navy SEAL officer on deployments to Haiti, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, including Bosnia. When his father Edgar Prince unexpectedly died in 1995, he ended his Navy service prematurely. He sold his family's automobile parts company, Prince Corporation, for $1.4 billion and later moved to Virginia Beach and personally financed the formation of Blackwater USA.

Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Michigan and wife of former Alticor (Amway) president and Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos. Prince's first wife died of cancer in 2003, and he has since remarried and has six children. He now runs Prince Group, Blackwater's parent company, from an office in McLean, Virginia and also serves as a board member of Christian Freedom International, a nonprofit group with a mission of helping "Christians who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ".

Due to its controversial role as an independent, though US-supported, military entity, Erik Prince and Blackwater USA have been the target of several allegations, leading to at least one major court case. Among these allegations are claims of unethical hiring practices and war profiteering. [1]

[edit] References

* Christian Freedom International website
* Newsobserver article concerning Blackwater plane crash
* Hampton Roads interview of Erik Prince
* Hampton Roads "Blackwater Top Brass"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Prince

Blackwater's top brass

The Virginian-Pilot
� July 24, 2006
http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=108028&ran=144012

RECORDED: 2/11/07 C-SPAN HEARING ON BLACKWATER
Sun Feb 11, 2007 18:44
http://www.apfn.net/Messageboard/02-15-07/discussion.cgi.92.html


-------------------------

GOOGLE: Results
Blackwater USA: Army Into An ‘Army For Hire’
Sun Feb 11, 2007 20:36
http://www.apfn.net/Messageboard/02-15-07/discussion.cgi.93.html

Blackwater USA: Turning The All-Volunteer Army Into An ‘Army For Hire’

This week at a conference in Jordan, Blackwater USA vice chairman Cofer Black announced that the private security company is ready to shift from a security role to a more “overt combat role,” essentially becoming an army for hire.

GOOGLE: Results 1 - 10 of about 27,900 for SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, BLACKWATER, CIA. (

This week at a conference in Jordan, Blackwater USA vice chairman Cofer Black announced that the private security company is ready to shift from a security role to a more “overt combat role,” essentially becoming an army for hire.

The Bush administration has shown itself more than willing to call in Blackwater in place of U.S. troops.

In Aug. 2003, the Bush administration awarded Blackwater a $21.3 million contract to guard then Amb. Paul Bremer. The average senior special operations officer makes $50,000 a year from the U.S. government. Employees in private security firms in Iraq often make more than $1,000 a day from government contracts. This arrangement is “depleting the ranks of the special forces,” luring them into lucrative private jobs.

Some military analysts initially welcomed the administration’s private security arrangement with Blackwater because it allowed “regular military troops to concentrate on fighting.” But Blackwater’s new proposal would shift some of the fighting to the private sector, further diminishing the role of the all-volunteer army.

Filed under: Military

Posted by Amanda March 30, 2006 3:49 pm

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