Think Progress
Pentagon Issues Blackwater New $92 Million Contract
Mon Oct 1, 2007 15:37

Pentagon Issues Blackwater New $92 Million Contract

Earlier this month, Blackwater USA was involved in the fatal shooting of 11 Iraqi civilians. While the Iraqi government swiftly condemned the contractor, the Bush administration has continued to back Blackwater’s story that it was “defensive fire.”

Last Thursday, Gen. Peter Pace told reporters, “Blackwater has been a contractor in the past with the department and could certainly be in the future.” The next day, that future was already here. The Pentagon had issued a new list of contracts, including one worth $92 million to Presidential Airways, the “aviation unit of parent company Blackwater.” From the release:

Presidential Airways, Inc., an aviation Worldwide Services company (d/b/a Blackwater Aviation), Moyock, N.C., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) type contract for $92,000,000.00. The contractor is to provide all fixed-wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance and supervision necessary to perform passenger, cargo and combi Short Take-Off and Landing air transportation services between locations in the Area of Responsibility of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. This contract was competitively procured and two timely offers were received. The performance period is from 1 Oct. 2007 to 30 September 2011.

Government officials have repeatedly ignored Blackwater’s transgressions. Senior Iraqi officials “repeatedly complained to U.S. officials” about Blackwater’s “alleged involvement in the deaths of numerous Iraqis, but the Americans took little action to regulate the private security firm.”

Next week. Rep. David Price (D-NC) plans to introduce legislation “to extend the reach of U.S. civil courts to include security contractors in Iraq.”


Misunderestimating Ron Paul's Support

In Hester v. United States, 265 U.S. 57, 59 (1924), the Supreme Court held that an open field was not a protected area for Fourth Amendment purposes. This does not detract from the point in the text, which refers to attitudes that long predate both Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928), and Hester. The open fields doctrine was restated in Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 176-77 (1984) (finding no Fourth Amendment violation stemming from a search of a field where marijuana was growing), which appears to create a safe harbor for eavesdropping. See Stephen A. Saltzburg, Another Victim of Illegal Narcotics: The Fourth Amendment (As Illustrated by the Open Fields Doctrine), 48 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 1, 25 n.105 (1986) (criticizing Oliver for permitting new means of surveillance that are "used to invade areas which people have traditionally believed were closed to outsiders").   


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