Contains links and descriptions of stories covering Blackwater from the present to December 2006. See also the section on Halliburton.
Blackwater guards fired unprovoked: Iraq police evidence
The firm has 1000 employees in Iraq guarding US diplomats in the country,
which is struggling for stability after the US-led 2003 invasion that
Should We Even Be Using Mercenaries in Iraq?
Jefferson’s complaint might easily be uttered by Iraqis and others who are skeptical about American policy in Iraq. We learned last week about that murky, previously almost unknown company, Blackwater USA, the largest of a number of …
Death From All Sides:
An extensive evidence file assembled by the Iraqi National Police after the controversial Blackwater shooting suggests that the private contractors opened fire unprovoked from the ground and the sky.
8 deadly days for Blackwater:
Ms. Hussein walked out of the customs building, an embassy convoy of sport utility vehicles drove through the intersection. Blackwater USA security guards, charged with protecting the diplomats, yelled at construction workers at an unfinished building to move back. Instead, the workers threw rocks. The guards, witnesses said, responded with gunfire, spraying the intersection with bullets.
Blackwater force in 56 shootings:
It is the first time the Bush Administration had made such data public and comes as Blackwater – the State Department’s prime security force – faces new scrutiny for its role this month in the killing of up to 11 Iraqis.
FOCUS | Eyewitnesses Insist Iraqis Didn’t Fire on Blackwater Guards
Sudarsan Raghavan and Karen DeYoung of The Washington Post report that five “eyewitnesses to a September 16 shooting incident in Baghdad involving the private security firm Blackwater USA insisted that company guards fired without provocation, forcing civilians and Iraqi police to run for cover, and that the Iraqi officers did not return fire.”
The Blackwater massacre: the victim’s story
Eli Stephens, Left I on the News
Lots of coverage in the media about the most recent Blackwater massacre of 11 Iraqi civilians, the banning/un-banning of them, etc. Little to no coverage of the victims. McClatchy’s Leila Fadel (discussed here a few days ago) went to meet with them, and writes about them on her blog (not yet published as far as I can tell): It all starts to run together sometimes. But the things that will stay with me over my break are Afrah’s tears. I sat in her home this past week to talk about her mother Ghania. Afrah was the woman’s favorite among her eight children. Often her sisters would complain that she and Ghania were always together. Afrah talked about her kindness, Ghania would hide away her favorite foods for her or pick up clothes or trinkets from the market that reminded her of her daughter. Ghania is gone, killed at the back of a bus by what witnesses said were bullets from Blackwater security guards on Sept. 16 in Nisour square…
Blackwater and Private Military Firms in Iraq
The Good, the Bad and the Iraqi
WAJAHAT ALI, CounterPunch
The black heart of outsourcing core, military functions to Private Military Firms (PMF’s) revealed itself yet again this week with the most recent (of many) Blackwater scandals. Blackwater, the North Carolina based private security firm with 1,000 employees currently deployed in Iraq, first came to prominence as the contracted, personal bodyguards of former Coalition Provisional Authority head Lt. General Paul Bremer. Unfortunately, Blackwater’s international reputation has blossomed due to its notoriety warranted by irresponsible and violent acts in Iraq. These incidents, which seem like a recurring, annual trend, emphasize the crucial, prescient need to closely examine PMF’s roles, responsibilities, and most importantly—legal accountability—in the “War on Terror.” Recently, Iraqi investigations revealed Blackwater employees were responsible for nearly 6 violent episodes this year resulting in 10 deaths and countless wounded civilians. However, on September 27, The State Department, for the first time, publicly stated Blackwater’s security personnel has actually been involved in 56 shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq so far this year alone…
News of the Day for Sunday, September 30, 2007
28, 2007, a Blackwater Security convoy, center, escorts a US State Department official in western Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007 just before a car bomb explodes, ABC News reported. The subsequent shootout left at least 11 …
BACK IN IRAQ: THE ‘WHORES OF WAR’
Sunday Herald – Glasgow,Scotland,UK
America’s hired guns in Iraq have been called ‘the coalition of the
billing’, but Blackwater mercenaries are accused of more than just taking
the money. …
State Dept. Starts Third Review of Private Security in Iraq 29 Sep 2007
The State Department has begun three separate reviews related to its use of private contractors for diplomatic security in Iraq after the shooting this month involving Blackwater USA guards [terrorists] that has infuriated Iraqis and damaged the American image in the country.
Blackwater cancels planned expansion 28 Sep 2007
In more fallout from the Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad that left 11 Iraqis dead, Blackwater USA apparently has stopped its expansion projects. On Wednesday, the North Carolina private military contractor canceled a $5.5 million deal to buy 1,800 acres of farmland near Fort Bragg, where it was going to set up a training ground for soldiers and corporate executives [terrorists].
Blackwater Review to Focus on Five Fatal Cases
Anne Gearan of The Associated Press says, “Five cases this year in which private Blackwater USA security guards killed Iraqi civilians are at the core of a US review of how the hired protection forces guard diplomats in Iraq, officials said Friday.”
The Outrage of Blackwater
Abdul Razzaq al-Rubaie, Azzaman – Translated By James Jacobson, Watching America
…What was the result of the Blackwater Company’s crime, which has so tarnished the face of American security? The death of about 15 martyrs and the wounding of over 30 people – a death toll so high that it would have caused the fall of the government in any country other than Iraq!! And all this happened in clear sight and hearing of American diplomats who suffered no harm, except for the disturbing sound of the explosions taking the lives of so many innocent bystanders!! And what has the government done? It deplored and denounced this company which it licensed, and which then denied that its contract had been canceled!!! What did America do? Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed regret to the families of the victims. Unfortunately, this year American politicians have expressed regret so often that their tongues have become veritable factories for producing apologies!!! – always agreeing to cooperate in order to carry out an investigation!! – Which will certainly be inconclusive due to a lack of evidence!!!…
“Blackwater in Iraq”
Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy
… It was only two weeks ago, that Blackwater was implicated in the deaths of 11 Iraqis, an event still under investigation. BB —before Bush —this would have been called what it is: cold blooded murder. Blackwater USA, meanwhile, has said its guards reacted lawfully to an attack on a US diplomatic convoy. What does “lawfully” mean in this case? Does “lawfully” mean that Bush may granted to whomever he pleases the power to murder indiscriminately? What “powers” were granted to Blackwater when the contract was executed? This argument sounds rather medieval, unprincipled and archaic to me, a defense Topcliffe must surely have cited to justify his tortures on behalf of Elizabeth I. My position is that the US presence in Iraq is itself illegal. The US, therefore, may not enter legally into any contract with any such sub-contractor. As the US presence itself violates Nuremberg, Geneva, and our own US Criminal Codes, the contracts thus executed are themselves null and void. In effect, I allege that Blackwater’s very presence in Iraq is a crime. The killing of 11 Iraqis is therefore cold-blooded murder, in fact, a war crime punishable by death. See US Codes, Title 18, Section 241…
WHAT HAS THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS DONE FOR THE BLACK …
There are no “braintrusts” that challenge the myth of “homeland security” which fattens the pockets of Halliburton and Blackwater. On the contrary, instead of going after Blackwater mercenaries for their devastating role in post-Katrina …
UPDATE 1-Some contractors over-react in Iraq – US general
Reuters UK – UK
US defense officials say contractors in Iraq serve critical roles that free
US troops up for other duties. But officers, often speaking privately, …
US State Dept sends team to Iraq on Blackwater affair
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US State Department will send a team to Iraq next
week to evaluate security measures for US diplomats after a deadly shooting…
State Dept. Tallies 56 Shootings Involving Blackwater on Diplomatic Guard Duty 28 Sep 2007
The State Department said Thursday that Blackwater USA security personnel [terrorists] had been involved in 56 shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq so far this year. It was the first time the Bush regime had made such data public.
Blackwater guard in Iraq said “stop shooting”: media 28 Sep 2007
A Blackwater security guard screamed at colleagues to “stop shooting” in an incident that left 11 Iraqi civilians dead, enraged the government and sparked reviews of security firms in Iraq, U.S. media said on Friday. The Washington Post and The New York Times quoted unnamed U.S. officials saying they had been told at least one employee of the private American security firm pointed a gun at a fellow guard to try and curb the shooting in Baghdad on September 16.
Blackwater Faced Bedlam, Embassy Finds —’First Blush’ Report Raises New Questions on Shooting 28 Sep 2007
Separately, a U.S. official familiar with the investigation said that participants in the shooting have reported that at least one of the Blackwater guards drew a weapon on his colleagues and screamed for them to “stop shooting.” This account suggested that there was some effort to curb the shooting, with at least one Blackwater guard believing it had spiraled out of control.
Report: Blackwater skimped on security before Fallujah ambush 27 Sep 2007
Democrats in Congress released a scathing report Thursday on the 2004 massacre of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, charging that the company rushed unprepared into a sloppy mission, skimped on security to save money and stonewalled when Congress tried to investigate.
Blackwater guards killed 16 as U.S. touted progress 27 Sep 2007
During the ensuing week, as U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Army Gen. David Petraeus told Congress that the surge of more U.S. troops to Iraq was beginning to work and President Bush gave a televised address in which he said “ordinary life was beginning to return” to Baghdad, Blackwater security guards shot at least 43 people on crowded Baghdad streets. At least 16 of those people died.
Hired Gun Fetish By Paul Krugman 28 Sep 2007
…[T]he administration has abandoned the principle of a professional, nonpolitical civil service, stuffing agencies from FEMA to the Justice Department with unqualified cronies. Tax farming — giving individuals the right to collect taxes, in return for a share of the take — went out with the French Revolution; now the tax farmers are back. …[T]he Bush administration has tried to privatize every aspect of the U.S. government it can, using taxpayers’ money to give lucrative contracts to its friends — people like Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, who has strong Republican connections. You might think that national security would take precedence over the fetish for privatization — but remember, President [sic] Bush tried to keep airport security in private hands, even after 9/11.
Blackwater Guards Killed 16 as US Touted Progress
Leila Fadel reports for McClatchy Newspapers that, during the week of September 10, "as Crocker and Petraeus told Congress that the surge of more US troops to Iraq was beginning to work and President Bush gave a televised address in which he said 'ordinary life was beginning to return' to Baghdad, Blackwater security guards shot at least 43 people on crowded Baghdad streets. At least 16 of those people died."
Paul Krugman | Hired Gun Fetish
Paul Krugman writes for The New York Times: "yes, the so-called private security contractors are mercenaries. They're heavily armed. They carry out military missions, but they're private employees who don't answer to military discipline. On the other hand, they don't seem to be accountable to Iraqi or U.S. law, either. And they behave accordingly."
Blackwater responsible for the death of 11 811 Iraqis
Eli Stephens, Left I on the News
(At least!). To the surprise of no one who has been paying attention, and with the usual alacrity that the U.S. Congress follows up on such matters (that is to say, none), a Congressional Committee has concluded: Blackwater USA triggered a major battle in the Iraq war in 2004 by sending an unprepared team of guards into an insurgent stronghold, a move that led to their horrific deaths and a violent response by U.S. forces, says a congressional investigation released Thursday. That battle killed, we are told, 200 insurgents and an estimated 600 civilians (the "11" in the headline refers to the Iraqis that Blackwater mercenaries killed directly two weeks ago, which led to their banning (quickly replaced by their non-banning))....
Read the full article http://www.uruknet.de/?p=36746
Waxman: Blackwater Cost-Cutting to Blame for 2004 Fallujah Ambush
Spencer Ackerman for TPM Muckraker reports that “right on the heels of a Brookings Institution report detailing the problems private military companies create for counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq, Representative Henry Waxman has released a study finding that Blackwater improperly prepared its contractors for traveling through Fallujah in March 2004 – a trip that proved to be fatal.”
Contracts to BLACKWATER USA (FY 2000-2007) (fedspending.org) Total dollars: $1,059,633,363 – Total number of contractors: 1 – Total number of transactions: 724 www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?parent_id=38113&sortby=u&
Blackwater Logs Most Shootings of Firms in Iraq 27 Sep 2007
The American security contractor [mercenaries] Blackwater USA has been involved in a far higher rate of shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq than other security firms providing similar services to the State Department, according to Bush administration officials and industry officials. www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/world/middleeast/27contractor.html
Blackwater ‘may be worse than Abu Ghraib’ —This is a debacle so severe and humiliating, only the Bush administration could pull it off. By Steve Benen 26 Sep 2007
“This is a nightmare,” said a senior U.S. military official. “We had guys who saw the aftermath, and it was very bad. This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib, and it comes at a time when we’re trying to have an impact for the long term.” At this point, the State Department seems to be treating Blackwater contractors as the agency’s own private army, accountable to no one outside the department. The Maliki government believes Blackwater is a criminal enterprise, the Iraqi people resent Blackwater’s presence, the Pentagon believes Blackwater is lying about the Sept. 16 incident in Nisoor Square, and congressional Democrats have questions about what has transpired — which the State Department refuses to answer.
Blackwater: Are You Scared Yet?
By Naomi Wolf
Those who read history should understand what we are more and more likely to see — now that a paramilitary force answerable to Bush and corporations like Halliburton but not to the people’s representatives is in place. …
Does the Defense Dept. Use Blackwater in Iraq?
By Nick Schwellenbach
MORRELL: We do not have Blackwater as a company that does work on our behalf in Iraq. We do — the military, I believe, does have contracts with Blackwater, but not in Iraq. So I don’t know the role that DOD would play in investigating …
The Project On Government Oversight…
FROM WHITEWATER TO BLACKWATER You can’t make this stuff up!
Starr takes over from Blackwater’s previous counsel, Greenberg Traurig, the influential Washington law firm that once employed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. “They bring in all these big time lawyers from nationwide firms with hundreds of …
Lawmaker says Rice interfered with Iraq inquiry:
A leading Democratic lawmaker on Tuesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of interfering in congressional inquiries into corruption in Iraq’s government and the activities of U.S. security firm Blackwater.
Blackwater Has Made Almost $1 Trillion in Iraq Since 2004
The US military is dependent on contractors in modern warfare, and their are undertones of animosity between the State and DOD over who should be taking more blame over Blackwater. But what really struck me FTA: Since 2004, …
US to review Iraq security firms
BBC News – UK
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a review of the way private
security firms operate in Iraq and the oversight given by the US military.
Iraq War: Murky Blackwater
Seattle Post Intelligencer – USA
The State Department’s response to Iraq’s move to ban private security firm
Blackwater USA from its country was swift: Withhold judgment until a fair,
Iraq: Blackwater Incident Could Further Undermine Premier
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty – Prague,Czech Republic
The initial reaction by the Iraqi government after the Al-Nusur Square
incident was to revoke Blackwater’s license, expel the company from Iraq,
Guard contracts in Iraq raising military worries —State Has Paid Blackwater $833,673,316 26 Sep 2007
A confrontation between the U.S. military and the State Department is unfolding over the involvement of Blackwater USA [Waffen-SS] in the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad square Sept. 16, bringing to the surface long-simmering tensions between the military and private security companies in Iraq, according to U.S. military and government officials… According to federal spending data compiled by the independent Web site FedSpending.org, the State Department’s Blackwater contracts vastly exceed those of the Pentagon. Since 2004, State has paid Blackwater $833,673,316, compared with Defense Department contracts of $101,219,261.
Blackwater Inquiry Blocked by State Dept., Official Says 26 Sep 2007
The Democratic chairman of a House committee complained Tuesday that the State Department was blocking his panel’s efforts to investigate the private security firm Blackwater USA and its [terrorist] operations in Iraq.
Observing Our Government Through Blackwater
By David Swanson
The Pentagon is useless to politicians because it doesn’t make campaign “contributions”. But when you take a big chunk of that enormous military budget and give it to private companies, you free it up to come back (some portion of it) to politicians every campaign season
Waxman: Bush Administration Muzzling Officials on Blackwater
The Associated Press reports that Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, confronted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a letter about the muzzling of State Department officials in inquiries involving Blackwater USA and Iraq’s government.
Iraq: Oh, Blackwater, keep on rollin’
MSNBC – USA
The Washington Post carries this quote from a military person on background
on the Blackwater situation. “’This is a nightmare,’ said a senior US
Iraq Drafts Law on Security Companies
New York Times – United States
Blackwater, the biggest of the State Department’s three private security
contractors in Iraq, has defended its actions, saying the guards were under
Is Blackwater A Black Hole?
By Stan Moody
As private security force, Blackwater, breaks into the news with the recent killing of 11 Iraqi civilians and accusations of illegal arms smuggling, a little-anticipated feature of the War on Terror surfaces. Refer to this feature as “collateral damage” if you will, but the bottom line is that engagement in war produces effects that ripple down through the innocents for generations
Eric Margolis: Hired guns, loose cannons:
Americans will regret use of private armies such as Blackwater in Iraq
Why Aren’t We Banning Blackwater Here?
Posted: 24 Sep 2007 11:20 AM CDT
by Dave Lindorff
Let’s give the Iraqi puppet government some credit: At least they had the sense to delicense and order the Blackwater mercenary outfit out of the country. The real question is why we allow them here in the U.S.
Blackwaters run deep
Posted: 24 Sep 2007 09:10 AM CDT
by William Bowles
Mercenary armies are not new. Before conscription most wars were fought with hired hands, often consisting of soldiers from many countries serving under a single flag, so the use of mercenaries in Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia (and let us not forget the hired killers who fought under the South African flag all across Southern Africa, see below) should not come as a surprise, nor should the BBC?s constant use of the term ?contractor? instead of mercenary come as a surprise to us either.
By Common Ills(Common Ills)
And how it plays in Washington is one thing, but how it plays in Iraq is a very different one . You have the entire Iraqi cabinet and Muqtada al-Sadr demanding that Blackwater be expelled from the country. …
‘Cowboy’ Aggression Works for Blackwater
The Associated Press –
David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq. Fallon said security
contractors shouldn’t be seen as a “surrogate army” of the State Department
or any other …
US Repeatedly Rebuffed Iraq on Blackwater Complaints
Sudarsan Raghavan and Steve Fainaru report for The Washington Post, “Senior Iraqi officials repeatedly complained to US officials about Blackwater USA’s alleged involvement in the deaths of numerous Iraqis, but the Americans took little action to regulate the private security firm until 11 Iraqis were shot dead last Sunday, according to US and Iraqi officials.”
Iraq says no Blackwater move until after inquiry 24 Sep 2007
Iraq said on Monday no action would be taken against U.S. private security firm Blackwater over a shooting in which 11 people were killed until after a joint investigation with U.S. officials. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had vowed to freeze the work [terrorism] of Blackwater, which guards the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, and prosecute its staff over the shooting eight days ago which he called a crime. But Iraq has since appeared to soften its stand.
Maliki Accuses Blackwater of Challenging Iraq’s Sovereignty [Oh, but Shock & Awe didn’t?] 24 Sep 2007
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said Sunday that the shooting of Iraqi civilians last week by Blackwater USA, a private American security company [Waffen-SS], amounted to a challenge to the nation’s sovereignty, but he added that the his government was working jointly with the United States to bring those responsible to justice.
U.S. Repeatedly Rebuffed Iraq on Blackwater Complaints 23 Sep 2007
Senior Iraqi officials repeatedly complained to U.S. officials about Blackwater USA’s alleged involvement in the deaths of numerous Iraqis, but the Americans took little action to regulate the private security firm until 11 Iraqis were shot dead last Sunday, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials. Before that episode, U.S. officials were made aware in high-level meetings and formal memorandums of Blackwater’s alleged transgressions. They included six violent incidents [acts of terrorism] this year allegedly involving the North Carolina firm that left a total of 10 Iraqis dead, the officials said.
Iraqis: Video shows Blackwater guards fired 1st —Official in Baghdad says U.S. contractors were responsible for 11 deaths 22 Sep 2007
Iraqi investigators have a videotape that shows Blackwater USA guards [terrorists] opened fire against civilians without provocation in an incident last week in which 11 people died, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday. He said the case had been referred to the Iraqi judiciary.
Blackwater’s ‘Drug War’ Bonanza $15 billion of your money up in smoke for under-fire mercenary company, other defense contractors. By Harkavy 19 Sep 2007
While Blackwater’s mercenaries beg for mercy for killing a baby and 19 other people in Baghdad on Sunday, they’re already working on another lucrative government contract on yet another foreign adventure: the “war on drugs.” In a major new outsourcing deal reported by only a few outlets, including the Army Times, Blackwater will divvy up a $15 billion pot of government gold, along with four huge defense contractors: Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Arinc.
Blackwater mercenaries resume patrols in wake of Baghdad civilian killings
Kate Randall, WSWS
Armed guards of Blackwater USA have resumed escorting American officials in Baghdad less than a week after the security company shot and killed at least 11 Iraqi civilians and wounded at least 13 others. The decision by the US embassy to send the mercenaries back onto the streets of the Iraqi capital came despite calls by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the US State Department sack the company, and a demand by the Iraqi government that security personnel from Blackwater and other security firms be stripped of their immunity from prosecution. The redeployment of the Blackwater patrols flies in the face of Bush administration claims that it is building a “sovereign” Iraq government, and that the US occupation is making progress in its mission to bring “democracy” to the beleaguered country…
Mercenaries Above the Law Zeyad, Healing Iraq
From the testimony of Jeremy Scahill, an investigative reporter for The Nation magazine and the author of the book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, before the Senate: “What happened Sunday is part of a deadly pattern, not just of Blackwater USA’s conduct, but of the army of mercenaries that have descended on Iraq over the past four years. They have acted like cowboys, running Iraqis off the road, firing indiscriminately at vehicles and, in some cases, private forces have appeared on tape seemingly using Iraqis for target practice. They have shown little regard for Iraqi lives and have fueled the violence in that country, not just against the people of Iraq but also against the official soldiers of the United States military in the form of blowback and revenge attacks stemming from contractor misconduct. These private forces have operated in a climate where impunity and immunity have gone hand in hand.” And of course, the Iraqi government is “sovereign” only when it suits the U.S.: Blackwater Working Again in Iraq. (i.e., go to hell, puppet. Who are you to complain?) (…) Many Americans are probably unaware that private security contractors, like Blackwater (there are dozens more, forming a total of up to 140,000 contractors, most of them American), are immune to any prosecution under both American and Iraqi law, civil or military…
Maliki: “Blackwater Challenged Iraq’s Sovereignty”
Alissa J. Rubin and Andrew E. Kramer report for The New York Times: “In an interview with The Associated Press in his New York hotel suite ahead of his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly, he [Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki] said: ‘The Iraqi government is responsible for its citizens, and it cannot be accepted for a security company to carry out a killing. There are serious challenges to the sovereignty of Iraq.’”
Iraq Awaits Blackwater Probe Before Taking Action
Voice of America – USA
By VOA News Iraq says it will wait for the results of an investigation into
the killing of 11 Iraqi civilians during a shootout involving a US security
The Real Story of Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday By Kim Sengupta
Six days ago, at least 28 civilians died in a shooting incident involving the US security company Blackwater. But what actually happened? Kim Sengupta reports from the scene of the massacre.
Iraqis: Video shows Blackwater guards fired 1st:
Iraqi investigators have a videotape that shows Blackwater USA guards opened fire against civilians without provocation in an incident last week in which 11 people died, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday.
Romney silent on Blackwater shooting :
Mitt Romney has remained mum on the alleged killing of 11 Iraqis by a company where one of his top advisers serves as vice chairman, even as the case has led to an uproar in Baghdad and Washington
Feds probe whether Blackwater smuggled weapons into Iraq:
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled weapons into Iraq that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.
Maliki, Rice avoid each other:
US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Prime Minister Noori Al-Maliki kept a polite distance as they attended a group meeting and avoided discussion of a Baghdad shootout involving guards from a US company protecting American diplomats.
Iraq awaits Blackwater probe before taking action
BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iraq said on Monday it will await the outcome of an
investigation into the killing of 10 people during a shootout involving US
security firm …
Al-Maliki says alleged Blackwater shooting challenges Iraq’s …
The Canadian Press –
NEW YORK – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki walked a fine line Sunday:
confronting his American backers over what he sees as violations of Iraq’s
Iraq Relents on Blackwater Bush to ask for Nearly $200 bn.
By Juan Cole(Juan Cole)
The Iraqi government is backing off its demand that the Blackwater security firm be expelled from Iraq in the wake of apparently unprovoked shootings that left 11 Iraqis dead, according to the LAT. Apparently the argument has been made …
The Iraq Chronicles
In Iraq, dying prematurely happens hundreds of times daily. But the killing of up to 25 Iraqi civilians by private Blackwater contractors set off a firestorm last week in both Baghdad and Washington. It also, not incidentally, …
Iraq Expands Blackwater Investigation
Iraq says it has expanded its investigation of the Blackwater shooting to include six other incidents involving the company’s guards in recent months. It also says it has a videotape of last weekend’s incident. (Sept. 22) Runtime: 02:00 …
iraq: video shows blackwater overreacted
… nobody shooting at the blackwater guards’ from abc: The shooting deaths of 11 Iraqis and wounding of 12 more, allegedly by private security contractors working for Blackwater USA, has become a case of “he says, she says” in Iraq. …
Iraq makes U-turn on Blackwater
Aljazeera.net – Qatar
This, despite Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq ‘s prime minister, saying Blackwater’s
alleged misconduct is a challenge to his country’s sovereignty. …
Shootings by US guards ‘threaten sovereignty of Iraq’
Scotsman – United Kingdom
US-Iraqi relations have been further strained by the US detention in
northern Iraq of an Iranian who was accused by the US military of smuggling
weapons to …
Larry Beinhart: Cost Benefit Analysis
By Larry Beinhart(firstname.lastname@example.org)
It would be at least as accurate to say it’s a bill to support Halliburton, Blackwater and the General’s private security guards. George Bush’s version of the Marshall Plan, the reconstruction, is even worse. …
Iraq: Videotape of Blackwater Attack — Jaafari Maneuvers in Najaf — Pentagon Report
Juan Cole, Informed Comment
Iraqi authorities said Saturday that they have a videotape of the shootings in Nisur Square last Sunday by Blackwater security guards, which shows that they fired without provocation. The company has maintained that its personnel were responding to incoming fire. There is now talk in Baghdad of trying the guards, though a decree by US viceroy Paul Bremer may hold the US nationals harmless. Meanwhile, charges surfaced that Blackwater employees had shipped weapons to Iraq without proper paperwork, which could be interpreted as a form of arms smuggling. The company denies the charges…
Iraq tempers call for US firm’s dismissal
Los Angeles Times – CA,USA
A spokesman for Iraqi security efforts in Baghdad said that it was not
feasible to force out Blackwater, which has 1000 employees providing
security in Iraq …
IRAQ REPORT At a glance
Fort Worth Star Telegram – Fort Worth,TX,USA
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has spoken by phone with Iraq’s
leader about the Blackwater shooting incident that strained relations. …
FOCUS | Blackwater Faces Criminal Charges in Iraq Shootings
James Glanz and Sabrina Tavernise report in Sunday’s New York Times that the Iraqi government “expects to refer criminal charges to its courts within days in connection with a shooting here by a private American security company, and the Interior Ministry gave new details of six other episodes it is investigating involving the company.”
Blackwater slams claims of exporting arms to Iraq
Euronews.net – Lyon,France
Under-fire security contractor Blackwater USA has denied media reports it
was involved in illegally shipping automatic weapons equipment to Iraq. …
Iraq’s ‘Dirty Harrys’
Los Angeles Times – CA,USA
From the moment Blackwater USA arrived in Iraq to protect L. Paul Bremer
III’s Coalition Provisional Authority until last week, when its guards
killed 11 …
Blackwater: Hired Guns, Above the Law
Jeremy Scahill, Middle East Online 9/22/2007
Testifying before a Senate committee today, Jeremy Scahill describes the deadly pattern of conduct by Blackwater USA and other security contractors in Iraq. Acting with impunity and immune from prosecution, this shadow army is fueling the spiraling violence. [This is an edited transcript of the prepared testimony of Jeremy Scahill before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, September 21, 2007. My name is Jeremy Scahill. I am an investigative reporter for The Nation magazine and the author of the book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. I have spent the better part of the past several years researching the phenomenon of privatized warfare and the increasing involvement of the private sector in the support and waging of US wars.
Blackwater denies Iraq smuggling
BBC Online 9/22/2007
A US company that provides security for US diplomats in Iraq has denied as “baseless” allegations that it was involved in weapons smuggling. Blackwater’s statement follows reports of a US investigation into allegations that some employees sent unlicensed weapons and equipment to Iraq. The weapons could have been used by a group labelled as terrorist by the US. Blackwater has been blamed by Iraqi officials for a Baghdad gunfight in which 11 civilians died last Sunday. The North Carolina-based company – which has been hired by the US state department to guard American diplomatic staff in Iraq – has said its employees acted in self-defence. Blackwater had its licence to operate in Iraq withdrawn by the Iraqi authorities following the shootout, but resumed limited operations on Friday.
Mercenaries Above the Law
“What happened Sunday is part of a deadly pattern, not just of Blackwater USA’s conduct, but of the army of mercenaries that have descended on Iraq over the past four years. They have acted like cowboys, running Iraqis off the road, …
Halliburton (1) Democracy (0)
By Pastor Dan
Bush established democracy is less about freedom than profit, especially if the profit is for the Halliburton subsidiary, Blackwater. There are $$$$$$$$$$$ at stake and no two bit fledgling government is going to tell us who runs things …
Blackwater, Oil and the Colonial Enterprise By John Nichols
When he was running Halliburton, Cheney invited Hunt Oil Company CEO Ray Hunt to serve on the firm’s board of directors. Hunt, a “Bush Pioneer” fund raiser during in 2000 who went on to serve as donated the tidy sum of $35 million to …
Highest Bidder Wins
Blackwater was working as the bottom layer of a series of subcontractors that ultimately reported to contracting giant Halliburton. In December, the US Army ordered Halliburton to refund the Army $20 million because it had no permission …
Blackwater USA Back On Limited Iraq Duty Embassy Resumes “Mission …
CBS News – New York City,NY,USA
A boy peers into a damaged vehicle after an overnight raid in the Shiite
enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007. …
Security Firm Faces Criminal Charges in Iraq 23 Sep 2007
The Iraqi government expects to refer criminal charges to the Iraqi courts within days in the killing of at least eight Iraqis by a private American security company, the state minister for national security affairs said Saturday, and he said that the government had received little information so far from the American side of the joint investigation… National Security Ministry and Defense Ministry stated that “the murder of citizens in cold blood in the Nisour area by Blackwater is considered a terrorist action against civilians just like any other terrorist operations.”
Feds probe Blackwater weapons smuggling 21 Sep 2007
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm [Waffen-SS] Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.
Blackwater ‘arms smuggling probe’ 22 Sep 2007
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether staff from US security company [terrorists] Blackwater smuggled weapons to Iraq, according to reports.
Iraq Probe of U.S. Security Firm Grows —Blackwater, Accused of Killing 11 on Sunday, Cited in Earlier Deaths 22 Sep 2007
Iraq’s probe into a deadly shooting by Blackwater USA in Baghdad last weekend has expanded to include allegations about the security firm’s involvement in six other violent episodes this year that left at least 10 Iraqis dead. The incidents include the killing of three guards at a state-run media complex and the shooting death of an Iraqi journalist outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, chief spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
Iraq’s hired hands under fire as the pot of gold starts to run low —Security boom ends amid complaints about civilian killings and immunity 22 Sep 2007
Iraq was awash with billions of dollars from the US, and company profits soared, while those on the ground were earning much more than US and British soldiers. But the Iraq boom for private security firms is coming to an end, even without the Blackwater shooting row, according to those in the trade.
The real story of Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday
—Six days ago, at least 28 civilians died in a shooting incident involving the US security company Blackwater. Kim Sengupta reports from the scene of the massacre 21 Sep 2007 The eruption of gunfire was sudden and ferocious, round after round mowing down terrified men women and children, slamming into cars as they collided and overturned with drivers frantically trying to escape…
Blackwater working again in Iraq 21 Sep 2007
The US security firm Blackwater has resumed limited operations in the Iraqi capital Baghdad four days after a deadly shootout involving the company.
Blackwater, Oil and the Colonial Enterprise By John Nichols
The private military contractor’s war-for-profit program, which has been so brilliantly exposed by Jeremy Scahill, may finally get a measure of the official scrutiny it merits as the corporation scrambles to undo the revocation by the Iraqi government of its license to operate in that country.
Blackwater security company back on the streets of Baghdad:
US private security company Blackwater was back on the streets of Baghdad, four days after being grounded following a shooting incident in which 10 people were killed, a US official said Friday.
Blackwater: Hired Guns, Above the Law
Jeremy Scahill, The Nation
This is an edited transcript of the prepared testimony of Jeremy Scahill before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, September 21, 2007. My name is Jeremy Scahill. I am an investigative reporter for The Nation magazine and the author of the book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. I have spent the better part of the past several years researching the phenomenon of privatized warfare and the increasing involvement of the private sector in the support and waging of US wars. During the course of my investigations, I have interviewed scores of sources, filed many Freedom of Information Act requests, obtained government contracts and private company documents of firms operating in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. When asked, I have attempted to share the results of my investigations, including documents obtained through FOIA and other processes, with members of Congress and other journalists…
Landmark ‘Halliburton Versus Blackwater’ Suit Filed
Predator Press [LOBO]. “As you can see by my charts and graphs, Blackwater currently holds the marketing edge due to disproportionate liberties only enjoyed by MicroSoft and Pepsi.”
FOCUS | Feds Target Blackwater in Weapons Probe
Matthew Lee of the Associated Press reported late Friday that federal prosecutors are investigating “whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a US-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.”
IRAQ: Will Iraq Kick Out Blackwater?
US: Blackwater supports inquiry into fatal shooting
Blackwater Back in the News
US: Army to examine Iraq contracts
Convoys With Security Firm Resume in Iraq
New York Times – United States
21 — American diplomats today resumed travel in Iraq in convoys escorted
by Blackwater USA, the private American security contractor, less than a
week after …
Iraq Details Blackwater Shooting Incident
Blackwater had better hope there’s an Iraqi Abraham Zapruder out there. The Interior Ministry has pieced together an account of Sunday’s shooting in Mansour alleging that the private-security company…
Blackwater security company back on the streets of Baghdad 21 Sep 2007
US private security company [Waffen-SS] Blackwater was back on the streets of Baghdad, four days after being grounded following a shooting incident in which 10 people were killed, a US official said Friday.
US resumes Blackwater convoys in Iraq 21 Sep 2007
American convoys under the protection of Blackwater USA resumed on Friday, four days after the U.S. Embassy suspended all land travel by its diplomats and other civilian officials in response to the alleged killing of civilians by the mercenaries.
Maliki blasts Blackwater firm for other incidents 19 Sep 2007
Blackwater security guards who protect top U.S. diplomats in Iraq have been involved in at least seven serious incidents, some of which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said Wednesday… Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al Askari told McClatchy Newspapers that one of the incidents was former Iraqi Electricity Minister Ahyam al Samarrai’s escape from a Green Zone jail in December. Samarrai had been awaiting sentencing on charges that he had embezzled $2.5 billion that was intended to ‘rebuild’ Iraq’s decrepit electricity grid. Until now, Iraqi officials hadn’t named the private security company that they believe helped Samarrai, the only Iraqi cabinet official convicted of corruption, to escape from a jail that was overseen jointly by U.S. and Iraqi guards. He subsequently was spirited out of the country and is believed to be living in the United States.
Congress Wants Testimony From Blackwater Boss 20 Sep 2007
The founder and chairman of Blackwater USA, the private security contractor, has been told to appear next month before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In a letter today to Blackwater chairman Erik Prince, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said the hearing would concentrate on “the mission and performance of Blackwater USA and its affiliated companies [mercenaries] in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Iraqi corruption report made public 21 Sep 2007
A damning report by the US embassy detailing corruption in the Iraqi government was made public on Friday, days ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and US President [sic] George W. Bush.
Victim claims Blackwater killings unprovoked – Video The Real News Network
Hired guns: Blackwater and other heavily armed US security guards …
Houston Chronicle – United States
The United States, Central Command reports, has 163000 US military
personnel in Iraq. However, so great is the need for security,
intelligence, transport, …
Is Blackwater Guilty As Charged
Washington (UPI) Sep 20, 2007 – Even though the commission investigating the alleged indiscriminate shooting by Blackwater employees over the weekend has only just been stood up, some voices are already rushing to judgment, condemning the contractors as cold-blooded “mercenaries.” All of this is entirely predictable, though not necessarily unwarranted. It goes to show that four years after private security contractors …
Hessians Redux: Blackwater, U.S. and England
By Dr. Sam Hamod
If the Russians or Chinese came into America tomorrow with their troops and over 150,000 mercenaries to take over our country, brutalize our wives and children and take over our lives, wouldn’t you fight back? Of course we would. That what the Iraqis are doing.
US says Blackwater still under contract in Iraq:
U.S. security firm Blackwater remains in Iraq under a State Department contract while a joint commission investigates a shooting incident in Baghdad on Sunday that left 11 Iraqis dead, the U.S. embassy said on Thursday.
U.S. Army Awards Iraq Security Work To British Firm, Aegis:
The U.S. military confirmed yesterday that it awarded the largest security contract in Iraq to a private British firm, Aegis Defence Services, in a deal worth up to $475 million over two years.
Iraq for Sale: Making Dollars for Deaths
ProgressiveU.org – San Mateo,CA,USA
It spoke about how different corporations, including Blackwater and Halliburton, are using the war to their advantage to make money. …
Maliki Blasts Blackwater Firm
Leila Fadel of the McClatchy Newspapers reports, “Blackwater security guards who protect top U.S. diplomats in Iraq have been involved in at least seven serious incidents, some of which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said Wednesday.”
Looking into Blackwater…
Knoxville Voice – USA
… including its ties to disgraced political opportunists Jack Abramoff
and Tom Delay and the many conflicts of interest pertaining to its
Blackwater’s License to Kill Revoked
As suspected, Blackwater thugs in Iraq were not responding to “militants” when they killed Iraqi motorists a few days ago. “A preliminary Iraqi report on a shooting involving an American diplomatic motorcade said Tuesday that Blackwater security guards were not ambushed, as the company reported, but instead fired at a car when it did not heed a policeman’s call to stop, killing a couple and their infant,” reports the New York Times. “The report, by the Ministry of Interior, was presented to the Iraqi cabinet and, though unverified, seemed to contradict an account offered by Blackwater USA that the guards were responding to gunfire by militants. The report said Blackwater helicopters had also fired. The Ministry of Defense said 20 Iraqis had been killed, a far higher number than had been reported before.” But of course. After all, Blackwater’s slogan is: “Providing a new generation of capability, skills, and people to solve the spectrum of needs in the world of security,” that is to say killing people in lands invaded and occupied, even lands hit by natural disaster, specifically New Orleans after Katrina…
Checkbook Imperialism: The Blackwater Fiasco
Please, please, I tell myself, leave Orwell out of it. Find some other, fresher way to explain why “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is dependent upon killer mercenaries. Or why the “democratically elected government” of “liberated” Iraq does not explicitly have the legal power to expel Blackwater USA from its land or hold any of the 50,000 private contractor troops that the U.S. government has brought to Iraq accountable for their deadly actions. Were there even the faintest trace of Iraqi independence rising from the ashes of this failed American imperialist venture, Blackwater would have to fold its tents and go, if only in the interest of keeping up appearances. After all, the Iraqi Interior Ministry claimed that the Blackwater thugs guarding a U.S. State Department convoy through the streets of Baghdad fired “randomly at citizens” in a crowded square on Sunday, killing 11 people and wounding 13 others. So the Iraqi government has ordered Blackwater to leave the country after what a government spokesman called a “flagrant assault
US restricts diplomat travel in Iraq 19 Sep 2007
The US has suspended all land travel by its diplomats and other civilian officials outside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone due to an “increased threat” in the aftermath of the alleged killing of civilians by the American embassy’s security provider, Blackwater. The move came as the Iraqi government appeared to back down from its initial statements after Sunday’s shootout that it would order Blackwater’s 1,000 mercenaries to leave the country.
Iraqi Government says US Security Firm Suspended, Not Expelled 19 Sep 2007
Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the company that provides bodyguards to U.S. diplomats in Iraq has been suspended while the government investigates a deadly shooting incident involving the firm last Sunday. The government said earlier it was expelling the mercenaries.
Iraq Disputes Blackwater’s Account of Baghdad Killings —Blackwater Investigation Places Greater Scrutiny on Role of Mercenaries in Iraq War 19 Sep 2007
The Iraqi government is disputing the account by Blackwater mercenaries over a weekend shooting in Baghdad that it now says killed 20 Iraqis and wounded scores of others.
180,000 Private Contractors Flood Iraq 19 Sep 2007
The United States has assembled an imposing industrial army in Iraq larger than its uniformed fighting force and responsible for a such a broad swath of responsibilities the military might not be able to operate without its private-sector partners. More than 180,000 Americans, Iraqis, and nationals from other countries work under a slew of federal contracts to provide security, gather intelligence, build roads, forge a financial system, and transport needed supplies in a country the size of California
US halts diplomatic convoys in Iraq
Al Jazeera 9/18/2007
The US embassy in Baghdad has suspended all diplomatic convoys outside the heavily fortified Green Zone and the rest of Iraq. The move comes as the Iraqi government said it would review the status of all private security companies working in the country following a deadly shooting on Sunday involving guards from the US firm Blackwater. The government announced the investigation on Tuesday, after the interior ministry decided to “halt the licence” of Blackwater, which provides security to US diplomats in Iraq. Ali al-Dabbagh, a government spokesman, announced the decision “to review the operations of foreign and local security companies in Iraq”. He said: “This came after the flagrant assault conducted by members of the American security company Blackwater against Iraqi citizens.
Iraq condemns US security contractor
International Herald Tribune – France
Blackwater USA was awarded a “Worldwide Security Services” contract by
the US State Dept. for protection not just in Iraq and Afghistan, but Haiti
and other …
John Lombardi: Bad Day at Blackwater
By John Lombardi(email@example.com)
… downsized to policing the empire, while the multi-nationals did the real legislating — it’s not for nothing that voter apathy has thrived in the past 20 years, while lobbying firms like Jack Abramoff’s grew by leaps and bounds. …
Blackwater Banned in Iraq After Deadly Firefight
WASHINGTON – The Iraqi government announced Monday that it had revoked the license of one of the most prominent private U.S. security firms operating in Iraq, a decision that is expected to cause friction with U.S. occupying forces, which have increasingly come to rely on private contractors to meet their logistical and security needs.
Iraqis Aim Fury at Blackwater “Dogs” After Shooting
Agence France-Presse reports, “Hated by Iraqis who refer to them as ‘Mossad,’ Blackwater contractors are also mistrusted by fellow private security guards operating in Iraq who say they are arrogant, rude and dangerous.”
Iraqi Report Says Guards for Blackwater Fired First
SABRINA TAVERNISE and JAMES GLANZ, NYTimes
A preliminary Iraqi report on a shooting involving an American diplomatic motorcade said Tuesday that Blackwater security guards were not ambushed, as the company reported, but instead fired at a car when it did not heed a policeman’s call to stop, killing a couple and their infant. The report, by the Ministry of Interior, was presented to the Iraqi cabinet and, though unverified, seemed to contradict an account offered by Blackwater USA that the guards were responding to gunfire by militants. The report said Blackwater helicopters had also fired. The Ministry of Defense said 20 Iraqis had been killed, a far higher number than had been reported before. In a sign of the seriousness of the standoff, the American Embassy here suspended diplomatic missions outside the Green Zone and throughout Iraq on Tuesday…
Blackwater pays price for Iraqi firefight
Daniel Luban, Asia Times 9/19/2007
WASHINGTON – The Iraqi government announced on Monday that it had revoked the license of one of the most prominent private US security firms operating in Iraq, a decision that is expected to cause friction with US occupying forces, which have increasingly come to rely on private contractors to meet their logistical and security needs. The decision to revoke the license of Blackwater USA came one day after a Baghdad firefight left eight civilians dead, the latest in a string of incidents involving private security contractors that have engendered resentment among Iraqis. The Iraqi government also promised to prosecute those responsible for the deaths, a demand that is likely to become another source of tension with the US and which drives home the legal gray area in which military contractors currently operate.
Shooting shines light on murky world of Iraq security:
The Iraqi government might find it difficult to prosecute the case, and even harder to revoke Blackwater’s licence because it most probably does not have a current one.
Iraq suspends license of Blackwater USA
US mercenary firm denounced after civilian killings in Baghdad
Kate Randall, WSWS
…The bloody incident on Sunday focuses attention on the mercenary activities of the estimated 25,000-30,000 private contractors from some 60 companies operating in Iraq at the service of the US occupation, forming an integral part of the illegal war and occupation. With revenues of about $100 billion a year, these hired thugs commandeer helicopters and patrol in bulletproof vehicles; many are armed with automatic weapons. Blackwater USA has an estimated 1,000 employees in Iraq, and at least $800 million in government contracts. One of its main contracts is to provide security to US Ambassador Ryan Crocker and other diplomats. The company has also guarded Gen. David Petraeus, the US commander in Baghdad in charge of the “surge.” Blackwater has earned the fear and hatred of the Iraqi civilian population, particularly in Baghdad, where its heavily armed agents speed diplomatic convoys through the crowded streets in black SUVs and its “Little Bird” helicopters swarm overhead, riflemen at the windows to provide cover to ground-based convoys…
Repugnant Black Water …
Imad Khadduri, Free Iraq
“Lawyer Hassan Jaber Salman Al-Mayahi, who is one of the wounded in this incident told Agence France-Press from his Yarmouk hospital bed “an explosion occurred near the Al-Nisoor roundabout” as he was heading to the Ministry of Justice for an appointment. He added “ Four of the mercenary cars completely blocked the streets and shouted to everybody in English to back away. There were only two civilian cars in front of me as we turned around and managed to move to about a distance of 150 meters from them. Immediately after that, (and as our backs were to them) they started shooting directly at us from their elevated positions in their SUVs with medium and heavy machine guns. My car was hit from the back by 12 bullets and was completely destroyed. I was hit with four bullets in the back and a bullet in my arm.” The lawyer added that “the explosion was very far from the roundabout and there was no reason whatsoever for this atrocity by the mercenaries. They even killed the policeman standing in the roundabout in front of my eyes. I also saw an elderly woman who was trying to get her son who was killed from inside his car when they shot and killed her, too. I saw tens of civilians crawling on their stomachs moving away from their cars with bullets streaming over their heads.”…
Troubled, Halliburton-Tied Contractor Ordered out of Iraq
The continuing saga of Blackwater. And if you don’t know why it matters, read this.
Blackwater and the New Mamluks: An InDepth Report
As companies such as Halliburton essentially create private armies beholden only to them, it may well be that in future years we will regard the most nefarious act of the pro-business Republican Counterrevolution as being to encourage …
Contractors in Iraq – Another Black Eye for the US
By Michael Cohen
In recent days the big story out of Iraq has been the deaths of nine Iraqi civilians at the hands of private contractors working for Blackwater. Now, the Iraqi government is threatening to revoke licenses for the Company and is calling …
Blackwater’s Troubles in Iraq
U.S. News & World Report – Washington,DC,USA
As US News’s Silla Brush reported in February, Congress was already investigating Blackwater and also its relationship with defense company Halliburton. …
Can Iraq (or Anyone) Hold Blackwater Accountable for Killing Iraqi …
As the Iraq government expels Blackwater over the killing of 11 Iraqi civilians, Jeremy Scahill, author of “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,” debates Doug Brooks, president of International Peace …
Iraq to investigate security firms
Aljazeera.net – Qatar
Iraq is to review the status of all private security companies working in
the country, after a deadly shooting involving guards from the US firm
The Iraq Blackwater Test
Posted: 17 Sep 2007 01:09 PM CDT
by Larry C. Johnson
Depending on whether the Blackwater security firm stays in Iraq will inform us whether Prime Minister Maliki has any power or is just a U.S. puppet. My money is on the puppet. Over the weekend Blackwater contractors escorting a State Department/US Embassy Baghdad convoy got into a shoot out
Iraq Expels U.S. Mercenary Contractors :
The Iraqi government Monday ordered Blackwater USA, the security firm that protects U.S. diplomats, to stop work and leave the country after the fatal shooting of eight Iraqi civilians following a car bomb attack against a State Department convoy.
Killings by U.S. contractors stoke troubles in Iraq 17 Sep 2007
Iraqi authorities on Monday threatened to revoke the license of a private U.S. mercenary company that guards top American officials after shots fired from a diplomatic convoy killed eight Iraqis. Blackwater, founded by a major Republican Party benefactor, is among the most prominent — and controversial — of dozens of companies that provide security to both government and private individuals in Iraq… Witnesses said the dead included the driver of one car and a mother and child whom he was transporting. Police said the dead included five Iraqi police officers who’d tried to help. At least nine cars were set on fire. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack described the incident as a firefight, but three people who claimed to have witnessed the shooting said that only the Blackwater guards were firing.
‘They use their machine guns like car horns.’ Iraq Expels American Security Firm 17 Sep 2007
The Iraqi government announced Monday it was ordering Blackwater USA, the security firm that protects U.S. diplomats, to leave the country after what it said was the fatal shooting of eight Iraqi civilians following a car bomb attack against a State Department convoy. The presence of so many visible, aggressive Western security contractors has angered many Iraqis, who consider them a mercenary force that runs roughshod over people in their own country. Sunday’s shooting was the latest in a series of incidents in which Blackwater and other foreign contractors have been accused of shooting to death Iraqi citizens. None has faced charges or prosecution.
Blackwater Guards Accused of Past Deaths 17 Sep 2007
In the past year, employees of the Blackwater USA security firm have been involved in other incidents in which they were accused of killing civilians and security forces in Iraq.
Rice apologises for US security firm shootings —Move to prevent Iraq government expulsions —Blackwater guards blamed for deaths of eight civilians 18 Sep 2007 The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, apologised to the Iraqi government yesterday in an attempt to prevent the expulsion of all employees of the mercenary firm Blackwater USA. The ministry of interior yesterday took the decision to expel Blackwater after eight Iraqi civilians were killed and 13 wounded in Baghdad when shots were fired from a US state department convoy on Sunday.
US vows Blackwater killings probe 18 Sep 2007
The US has vowed to investigate a deadly Iraqi civilian shooting after the Iraqi government ordered Blackwater USA, the main American security [mercenary] firm in the country, to get out over the killings.
Iraq pulls security firm contract
Blackwater finally comes a cropper.
Let Blackwater Run the Whole War
By Omnipotent Poobah
I actually have no problem with Halliburton getting huge contracts to rebuild oil fields or Bechtel throwing together a few Iraqi schools on a cost-plus basis. After all, we bombed them flat so it’s the least we can do. …
Blackwater Ordered Out of Iraq
Iraqi interior minister Jawad al-Bolani has ordered the cancellation of private security firm Blackwater’s operating license in Iraq, after the group was involved in a shoot-out that killed eight people in Baghdad while providing …
Blackwater USA License Being Pulled in Iraq
… and prevented them from working all over Iraqi territory. We will also refer those involved to Iraqi judicial authorities,” Khalaf said. For the record, while US troops are immune from prosecution in Iraq, private contractors are not.
Security contractors open fire in Baghdad, at least 9 killed 17 Sep 2007
US mercenaries opened fire in western Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least nine civilians and wounding 18, Iraqi police said. The US Embassy said ‘contractors’ working for the State Department were involved in an incident but provided no further details. [Right, but we all know they were likely the terrorists from Blackwater USA.]
Blackwater Offers Classes to Combat Active Shooters 27 Sep 2007
Private security contractor [terrorists] Blackwater USA has developed an intensive training course to prepare law enforcement officers for active shooters like the one that killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. The five-day session will put trainees into simulated scenarios at a mock high school and a 5,000-square-foot tactical house.
Romney names terrorism policy advisers 13 Sep 2007
GOPervert Mitt Romney today tapped a former CIA official, who is now a top officer in a private security firm with widespread operations in Iraq, to head his counterterrorism policy advisory group. Cofer Black, who also served as a top State Department counter-terrorism official, is now chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions and vice-chairman of Blackwater USA.
911 Collapse or Bombs, You decide
As for personnel, Naomi Wolf in her book “The End of America”-(Chelsea Green) points to Blackwater USA, of Moycock, NC, as “the world’s largest private security force (that) works closely with Halliburton, and is available for action …
Iraq war is an abomination
LaCrosse Tribune – LaCrosse,WI,USA
It still should be, and if Congress cannot prosecute the likes of
Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater, then as far as I am concerned, you are all
in on the take …
Blackwater Buys Brazilian Bombers 27 Aug 2007
Security company [terrorists] Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work The aircraft can carry up to 1.5 tons of weapons, including 12.7mm machine-guns, bombs and missiles.
Blackwater USA and University of Illinois Police Training Institute Announce Partnership (Blackwater USA) 20 Jul 2007
Blackwater USA is pleased to announce its newly formed partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Police Training Institute www.pti.uiuc.edu/ (PTI). Together we will pursue international and domestic training opportunities to better equip law enforcement agencies and officers to serve their communities [implement Bush’s police state].
US: Contractors Back From Iraq Suffer Trauma From Battle
IRAQ: Private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq
IRAQ: Blackwater Blues for Dead Contractors’ Families
Blackwater Sues Slain Employees’ Families to Silence Them
After filing its suit against the dead men’s estates, Blackwater demanded that its claim and the families’ existing lawsuit be handled in private arbitration. By suing the families in arbitration, Blackwater has attempted to move the examination of their wrongful conduct outside the eye of the public and away from a jury. This comes at the same time Congress is investigating Blackwater.
Chris Hedges | What If Our Mercenaries Turn on Us?
Chris Hedges writes: “The privatization of war hands an incentive to American corporations, many with tremendous political clout, to keep us mired down in Iraq. But even more disturbing is the steady rise of this modern Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guard in ancient Rome was a paramilitary force that defied legal constraints, made violence part of the political discourse, and eventually plunged the Roman Republic into tyranny and despotism.”
Blackwater Lawsuit Moves Out of Court
After years of high-stakes legal wrangling, a lawsuit stemming from the gruesome deaths of four US contractors in Iraq is moving behind closed doors, in an action seen as an important precedent for the booming private security industry. The suit, for wrongful death and fraud, was filed in January 2005 against Blackwater Security Consulting, one of scores of companies now fielding close to 130,000 civilians who work alongside the US military in Iraq.
Blackwater Contractors Involved in Shooting Death in Baghdad
Employees of Blackwater USA, a private security firm under contract to the State Department, opened fire on the streets of Baghdad twice in two days last week, and one of the incidents provoked a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, US and Iraqi officials said.
Houston, May 15, 2007: CorpWatch and its partners today released an alternative
annual report on Halliburton titled: “Goodbye Houston” The new report was
prepared in association with Halliburton Watch and the Oil & Gas Accountability
US: Blackwater lawsuit accuses ex-employee of stealing secrets
IRAQ: Four Hired Guns in an Armored Truck, Bullets Flying, and a Pickup and a
Taxi Brought to a Halt. Who Did the Shooting and Why?
William Rivers Pitt | Two Hearings, One Reality
William Rivers Pitt writes: “Another hearing took place on Capitol Hill yesterday that was truly chilling to observe. Representative John Murtha’s (D-Pennsylvania) Subcommittee on Appropriations heard testimony from two investigators whose work has been focused on the phenomenon of private military contractors in Iraq. The first to give testimony was Jeremy Scahill, author of ‘Blackwater: Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.’ The second witness was Robert Greenwald, a documentary filmmaker who recently released a new film titled ‘Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers.’”
Thomas d’Evry | Phantom Army
Thomas d’Evry’s investigative piece on Blackwater includes some familiar incidents, as well as some of the company’s less well-known current plans and activities.
Jeremy Scahill | Who Will Stop the US Shadow Army in Iraq?
Jeremy Scahill writes: “The 145,000 active duty US forces are nearly matched by occupation personnel that currently come from companies like Blackwater USA and the former Halliburton subsidiary KBR, which enjoy close personal and political ties with the Bush administration. Until Congress reins in these massive corporate forces and the whopping federal funding that goes into their coffers, partially withdrawing US troops may only set the stage for the increased use of private military companies (and their rent-a-guns) which stand to profit from any kind of privatized future ‘surge’ in Iraq.”
New document that the Blackwater mercenary company had put out for its employees, ‘Learning to Think like an Arab Muslim: a Short Guide to Understanding the Arab Mentality’.
Blackwater, Inc. And The Privatization Of The Bush War Machine
Jeremy Scahill, GNN
As President Bush took the podium to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, there were five American families receiving news that has become all too common: Their loved ones had been killed in Iraq. But in this case, the slain were neither “civilians,” as the news reports proclaimed, nor were they U.S. soldiers. They were highly trained mercenaries deployed to Iraq by a secretive private military company based in North Carolina – Blackwater USA. The company made headlines in early 2004 when four of its troops were ambushed and burned in the Sunni hotbed of Fallouja – two charred, lifeless bodies left to dangle for hours from a bridge. That incident marked a turning point in the war, sparked multiple U.S. sieges of Fallouja and helped fuel the Iraqi resistance that haunts the occupation to this day…
Pentagon’s IG Takes Job at Contractor By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 1, 2005; Page D03
The Pentagon’s inspector general will be leaving his post Sept. 9 to take a top job at the parent company for Blackwater USA, one of the largest private security firms in Iraq, the Defense Department said yesterday.
Joseph E. Schmitz has been the IG since March 2002, heading an office of 1,250 military and civilian officers and employees, with a mandate to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in the Pentagon. Its work included an extensive review of a controversial plan for leasing Boeing Co. jets as Air Force tankers. A top Pentagon procurement officer and a Boeing official went to prison in that case.
1. Renae Merle, “Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq,” The Washington Post (December 5, 2006)
2. The Center for Public Integrity, “Report Finds $362 Billion in No-Bid Contracts at the Pentagon” (September 29, 2004)
3. Bill Rigby, “Defense stocks may jump higher with big profits,” Reuter (April 12, 2006)
4. The Center for Public Integrity, “Outsourcing the Pentagon” (September 29, 2004)
5. Esther Schrader, “Companies Capitalize on War on Terror,” Los Angeles Times (14 April 2002)
6. Steve Young, “What Is Bad for America Is Good for Halliburton . . . Just Ask the Vice President,” OpEdNews.com (23 October 2006)
7. “War Profiteering,” by Source Watch (a project of the Center for Media & Democracy)
8. Renae Merle, “Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq,” Washington Post (December 5, 2006)
10. “War Profiteering,” by Source Watch (a project of the Center for Media & Democracy)
JEREMY SCAHILL: “PROFITEERS DESCEND ON NEW ORLEANS”
Left-wing journalist Jeremy Scahill talks about encountering the gunmen of
the notorious security firm Blackwater USA—and the struggle over the
rebuilding of New Orleans.