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Blackwater News-links 12-30 November 2007
Last Updated on Friday, November 30, 2007 9:07


US security firm runs into new trouble – and this time it’s closer to home —Rural community opposes expansion by company at centre of Iraq allegations 30 Nov 2007 Now Blackwater is looking to expand domestically. So it has come to the border hamlet of Potrero, population 850. Eight miles from Mexico and 40 miles inland from San Diego, Potrero has found itself at the centre of a controversy.,,2219612,00.html

Blackwater Grand Jury Resumes 29 Nov 2007 A federal grand jury investigating Blackwater Worldwide began its second day of work Thursday as an unidentified witness returned to the stand. The Justice Department is investigating the government contractor for its mercenaries’ involvement in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

Blackwater guards accused of drug use, ignoring orders 28 Nov 2007 At least one in four Blackwater bodyguards in Iraq use steroids and other drugs, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of several Iraqis killed or wounded in a Baghdad shooting in September. The lawsuit filed Monday in Washington also accuses the Blackwater guards of ignoring orders and abandoning their posts shortly before taking part in the shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, media reports said Wednesday.


Blackwater guards pumped on steroids, lawsuit alleges —Suit accuses Blackwater of fostering “culture of lawlessness” 27 Nov 2007 A quarter of Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq use steroids and other “judgment-altering substances,” according to a lawsuit filed by the families of several Iraqis killed or wounded in a Baghdad shooting in September


Blackwater Probe Stifled by Conflicts
Richard Lardner reports for The Associated Press, “The State Department’s acerbic top auditor wasn’t happy when Justice Department officials told one of his aides to leave the room so they could discuss a criminal investigation of Blackwater Worldwide, the contractor protecting US diplomats in Iraq.”

Blackwater weapons-smuggling probe stifled by conflicts 26 Nov 2007 The State Department’s acerbic top auditor wasn’t happy when Justice Department officials told one of his aides to leave the room so they could discuss a criminal investigation of Blackwater Worldwide, the contractor terrorists protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The episode reveals the badly strained relationship between Bush administration officials over the probe into whether Blackwater smuggled weapons into Iraq that could have gotten into insurgents’ hands. [’Ya think? Blackwater *is* the ‘insurgency!’ They keep blowing things up to justify their presence in Iraq, and to keep getting billion$ from Bush bin Laden and the DemocRATs, under the guise of ‘supporting our troops.’ -LRP]

BLACKWATER: Bulging Biceps Fueled by Ideological Purity
By Juxtaposeur
Military contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater are the brainchild of Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A major goal of Cheney when he was secretary of defense in the first Bush …


The “War,” Contractors, and Civilian Deaths
Rowan Wolf
One of the things that has become increasingly evident is that private “security” firms are critical to the Bush “war on terrorism.” The deaths (murder) of civilians in Iraq vaulted Blackwater into the spotlight. Given the news of private security and militia in Iraq, my ears perked at the news that bodyguards had “responded” to a suicide bombing in northern Afghanistan (Baghlan) and over 50 people were killed. They perked further with the reports that :” Some of the dead and wounded appeared to have suffered bullet wounds and some residents said Afghan security forces began shooting wildly after the blast. “This attack was carried out by the Taliban, but only 10 people were killed by the blast. The rest of the victims are from gunfire from the security forces,” said Abdul Qadir, pointing to what appeared to be a bullet hole in his dead son’s neck.The immediate question? Who were the bodyguards or security forces?…


Victims sue Blackwater (Video)
Michael Ratner on holding private military contractors accountable view


Bulging biceps fueled by ideological purity
By Robalini(Robalini)
Military contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater are the brainchild of Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A major goal of Cheney when he was secretary of defense in the first Bush …


Baghdad Bonanza
The Top 100 Private Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan
Bill Buzenberg, The Center for Public Integrity
KBR, Inc., the global engineering and construction giant, won more than $16 billion in U.S. government contracts for work in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2004 to 2006—far more than any other company, according to a new analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. In fact, the total dollar value of contracts that went to KBR—which used to be known as Kellogg, Brown, and Root and until April 2007 was a subsidiary of Halliburton—was nearly nine times greater than those awarded to DynCorp International, a private security firm that is No. 2 on the Center’s list of the top 100 recipients of Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction funds. Another private security company, Blackwater USA, whose employees recently killed as many as 17 Iraqi civilians in what the Iraqi government alleges was an unprovoked attack, is 12th on the list of companies and joint ventures, with $485 million in contracts…

The State Department’s embattled inspector general suddenly removed himself Wednesday from investigations into security contractor Blackwater Worldwide, after belatedly acknowledging his brother sits on a Blackwater advisory board… The revelation came at a House hearing that cited allegations from current and former State Department employees — and the Justice Department — that Inspector General Howard Krongard had impeded investigations into Blackwater and the construction of the $740 million U.S. Embassy complex in Iraq. The allegations before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee added to the questions about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s management of the U.S. diplomatic presence in Iraq and of the State Department in Washington. Krongard initially said he was unaware his brother, former CIA executive director Alvin “Buzzy” Krongard, had financial ties with Blackwater.

Blackwater’s Brothers
Every day, new revelations emerge in the mounting scandal rocking the Bush Administration and the mercenary company Blackwater Worldwide. Much of the attention focuses on the now infamous shooting spree in Baghdad’s Nisour Square on September 16, in which seventeen Iraqi civilians were killed and twenty-four wounded. FBI investigators are now alleging that fourteen were victims of unjustified and unprovoked shooting–some were shot while they were fleeing. Investigators also say they found nothing to substantiate Blackwater’s claims of being fired on by Iraqis. This comes a month after a US Army investigation determined there was “no enemy activity involved” and labeled the shootings a “criminal event.” But while Blackwater gets hammered in the press, the behind-the-scenes actions of the company’s paymaster, the State Department, grow more scandalous by the minute…

In Iraq, more trouble with private security as Blackwater faces a …
Christian Science Monitor – Boston,MA,USA
The latest incident comes as Iraq is pushing a bill through parliament that
would lift the immunity granted to private security contractors by the
former US …

Blackwater Guards Subpoenaed by Federal Grand Jury Probing Iraq …
FOX News – USA
Sixteen contractors with the Blackwater security firm have been subpoenaed
by a federal grand jury investigating the shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians in,2933,312242,00.html

Iraqi police seize foreign security guards after shooting 19 Nov 2007 Iraqi authorities on Monday detained at least 33 foreigners, including two men with U.S. Department of Defense-issued identification cards, in connection with a shooting incident in central Baghdad that injured a woman, the U.S. military said. The arrests were the latest sign of growing Iraqi impatience with the activities of private security guards mercenaries in the wake of the September killings of 17 Iraqi civilians by guards working for the Blackwater security company.

U.S. Prosecutors Subpoena Blackwater Employees 20 Nov 2007 Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to some of the Blackwater employees terrorists present at a Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad in which the company’s security personnel killed 17 Iraqi civilians, lawyers in the case and government officials briefed on the matter said Monday. The opening of the grand jury inquiry is a significant step in the case because it indicates that prosecutors believe that there is enough evidence of wrongdoing to warrant a formal criminal investigation.

Two US security guards arrested by Iraqi forces after woman is shot 20 Nov 2007 Iraqi soldiers detained two US security guards mercenaries along with other foreigners in a private convoy after the guards opened fire in Baghdad, wounding one woman. US military and embassy officials had no immediate information about the report by the Iraqi military, which follows a series of recent shootings in which foreign security guards have allegedly killed Iraqis.


Iraq arrests foreign guards over shooting
Mariam Karouny, Reuters
Two U.S. security guards and 31 other foreigners were among 43 people arrested by Iraqi security forces on Monday over a central Baghdad shooting in which a woman was wounded, an Iraqi government spokesman said. The role of foreign security guards has been under the spotlight since a September shooting in Baghdad involving private U.S. security firm Blackwater in which 17 Iraqis died…

Federal Grand Jury Subpoenaes Blackwater Guards
Brian Ross and Pierre Thomas of ABC News report: “A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, has opened an investigation into the role of Blackwater security guards in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi citizens in September in Baghdad.”

Foreign contractors held after new Iraq shooting
There has been mounting controversy over the operations of private security
guards in Iraq since a shooting in September in which guards of Blackwater

The empire’s operatives exposed: The Krongards, 9/11, and Blackwater/Iraq
Larry Chin, Online Journal Associate Editor
New bombshell testimony before Congress has revealed that Alvin B. “Buzzy” Krongard, the former CIA executive director connected to 9/11 insider trading, is a consultant and advisory board member of Blackwater USA, the New World Order’s leading intelligence-related corporate mercenary death squad now under investigation for war crimes, murder, arms smuggling, and fraud in Iraq. “Buzzy” Krongard’s Blackwater role was confirmed by “Buzzy”’s brother, Howard “Cookie” Krongard, who (not ironically) is the Bush/Cheney administration’s State Department’s inspector general, and the official under fire for stonewalling and quashing attempted probes of Blackwater’s operations….


State Department IG Krongard Doesn’t Want to Testify to Congress
Reuters reports that “The lawyer for State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard asked on Saturday that he not be called to testify before Congress on discrepancies between his statements and those of his brother over the brother’s ties to the Blackwater security firm.”

State Dept official asks to cancel Blackwater hearing 17 Nov 2007 The lawyer for State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard asked on Saturday that he not be called to testiLIE before Congress on discrepancies between his statements and those of his brother over the brother’s ties to the Blackwater security firm.


Two Brothers and Two Scandals
by Dave Lindorff
 The State Department?s top internal investigator, Inspector General Howard Krongard, revealed in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Tuesday, that his brother, Alvin B. Krongard, was a member of the advisory board of Blackwater, the very private mercenary company whose bloody, murderous behavior the IG office was supposed to be investigating. Unmentioned in reports on this tainted relationship was the fact that Alvin Krongard, the former third-ranking leader of the CIA from 2001-2004, has also been the subject of some speculation regarding possible foreknowledge of the 9-11 attacks by some within the intelligence establishment.

Inspector General, Brother to Testify on Blackwater Ties
Elizabeth Williamson of The Washington Post reports: “State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard and his brother Alvin will be summoned before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform early next month to assess the truthfulness of some of Howard Krongard’s statements to the panel, committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-California) announced yesterday.”

State Department official and brother queried on Blackwater 16 Nov 2007 The State Department’s top investigator and his brother will both be asked to testify to a committee of Congress about the brother’s link to the Blackwater security mercenary firm, the committee announced on Friday. Rep. Henry Waxman decided to call State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard and his brother A.B. “Buzzy” to the same hearing after they separately gave the committee conflicting accounts about Buzzy Krongard’s ties with Blackwater.

State IG’s brother quits Blackwater 17 Nov 2007 The brother of embattled State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard quit as an adviser to Blackwater Worldwide on Friday, two days after the relationship with the security contractor was sharply criticized by a congressional oversight committee.


Two Months After Deadly Shooting, No Charges
Against Blackwater Mercenaries
By Kate Randall
Two months after the deadly September 16 shooting in Baghdad by contractors of Blackwater Worldwide, no charges have been filed against any of the mercenaries involved. The incident left 17 civilians dead and as many as 27 wounded


State Department Inspector General Linked to Blackwater
Truthout’s Matt Renner reports, “Howard Krongard, the State Department inspector general, recused himself from all investigations involving the controversial private security firm Blackwater USA, when confronted with evidence obtained by a prominent Democrat that showed Krongard had a previously undisclosed conflict of interest.”

Blackwater guard gives account of shootout in Iraq
The guard said during his time in Iraq he had made “numerous split-second
shoot-don’t shoot decisions.” He said he had passed qualification courses
required …

State Dept. official steps aside from Blackwater probe
Seattle Times – United States
Blackwater, which protects US diplomats in Iraq, is under investigation for
a series of lethal shootings of Iraqi civilians. The revelation dismayed
even …


F.B.I. Says Guards Killed 14 Iraqis Without Cause :
 Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case.
Why would the state department protect Blackwater? :
 Now, why would the state department inspector general run interference on efforts to investigate the Blackwater mercenaries for gun running? Why, oh why?

FBI finds Blackwater Iraq shootings ‘unjustified’, report says
Guardian Unlimited – UK
State department officials have said it has offered limited immunity to
private security contractors involved in shootings in Iraq. …,,2210717,00.html

Blackwater: bulging biceps fueled by ideological purity
Seattle Times – United States
Military contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater are the brainchild
of Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.


Iraqi taxi driver killed by private security guard protecting US convoy in Baghdad
The Associated Press
An Iraqi taxi driver was shot dead by a private security guard hired to protect U.S. convoys driving through Baghdad, Iraqi officials said Monday. The incident took place Saturday afternoon, when a taxi driver got close to the convoy in western Baghdad’s Atafiyah neighborhood, according to Iraq’s Interior Ministry and a police officer at the nearest station. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad corroborated that account, but said it could not confirm whether anyone was killed or wounded. It was the latest incident involving what Iraqis believe are unprovoked killings by contractors hired to protect Americans here. In September, another shooting left 17 Iraqis dead and prompted the Iraqi government to call for the expulsion of the firm involved, Blackwater Worldwide….


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