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Blackwater News-links 27-31/10/07
Last Updated on Thursday, November 1, 2007 9:12

31/10/07

Justice in Iraq
Los Angeles Times – CA,USA
The Blackwater case is rightly viewed in Iraq as a test of national
sovereignty. Either Iraq is a sovereign state that has the right to see
that murders …
<www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-blackwater31oct31,0,831469.story?coll=la-opinion-leftrail>

IRAQ: When Blackwater Kills, No Questions Asked
Ali al-Fadhily*
BAGHDAD – The recent attacks by Blackwater USA mercenaries in Baghdad are far from the first — and many believe they will not be the last.
www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39848

US Military Will Oversee Contractors
www.truthout.org/docs_2006/103107K.shtml
John M. Broder and David Johnston report for The New York Times, “All State Department security convoys in Iraq will now fall under military control, the latest step taken by government officials to bring Blackwater Worldwide and other armed contractors under tighter supervision.”

Immunity for Blackwater mercenaries provokes anger 31 Oct 2007
Democrats have criticised the Bush regime for giving partial immunity to bodyguards from the Blackwater private security firm. They say the move equates to a failure to hold the contractors responsible for the killing of 17 civilians in Iraq last month.
news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article3112825.ece

Iraq cancels Blackwater immunity 31 Oct 2007
The Iraqi government has approved a law which lifts immunity for foreign security companies, including Blackwater. Security companies in Iraq have been operating under immunity, after a decree was imposed more than three years ago by a U.S. official who ran the country after the American-led invasion.
feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/?sid=295865

U.S. Military Will ‘Oversee’ Contractors 31 Oct 2007
All State Department security convoys in Iraq will now fall under military control, the latest step taken by government officials to bring Blackwater Worldwide and other armed contractors under tighter supervision… Three law enforcement officials confirmed Tuesday that State Department investigators did take statements from Blackwater employees [terrorists] after offering them immunity, though they had no authority to do so.
www.nytimes.com/2007/10/31/washington/31contractor.html

Blackwater guards given immunity by US in Iraq shootings:
State Department investigators gave deal for testimony
snipurl.com/1sxjc

Reports of Blackwater immunity deal embarrass Rice :
Reports that State Department investigators offered immunity deals to security guards accused of shooting dead 17 Iraqis dealt an embarrassing blow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday.
snipurl.com/1sxjd

US military to coordinate security guards in Iraq
Washington (AFP) Oct 30, 2007 – The US military will coordinate the movements of security firms in Iraq in agreement with the State Department, Pentagon officials said Tuesday as a new row flared over private bodyguards. Working groups from the State Department and the Pentagon had reached a “common understanding” that the US military in Iraq should coordinate the movement of contractors, but still had to flesh out the det …
www.spacewar.com/reports/US_military_
to_coordinate_security_guards_in_Iraq_999.html

IRAQ: When Blackwater Kills, No Questions Asked
Ali al-Fadhily*
The recent attacks by Blackwater USA mercenaries in Baghdad are far from the first — and many believe they will not be the last. Seventeen Iraqis were killed Sep. 16, and another 27 wounded at Nisoor square in western Baghdad when mercenaries from the company opened fire on them. Dozens of witnesses said that, contrary to Blackwater claims, the mercenaries had not come under attack. Several Kurds who were at the scene said they saw no one firing at the mercenaries at any time, an observation corroborated by forensic evidence. Kurds are one ethnic group that has been supportive of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq….
www.uruknet.de/?p=37702

US Gives Immunity to Blackwater Guards
LARA JAKES JORDAN, AP
The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month’s deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned. As a result, it will likely be months before the United States can – if ever – bring criminal charges in the case that has infuriated the Iraqi government. “Once you give immunity, you can’t take it away,” said a senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation….
www.uruknet.de/?p=37665

WPR piece on private security contractors
By Carl Robichaud
Private Military Contractors in Afghanistan, Carl Robichaud | 30 Oct 2007 After the Sept. 16 Blackwater scandal, which drew unprecedented attention to the role played by private security contractors (PSCs) in Iraq, these firms have …
www.afghanistanwatch.org/2007/10/wpr-piece-on-pr.html

Private Military Contractors also Creating Problems in Afghanistan
16 Blackwater scandal in Iraq, private security contractors have increasingly come under scrutiny in other theaters of war, such as Afghanistan. But while efforts in Afghanistan to rein in such contractors seem to parallel those in Iraq …
www.worldpoliticsreview.com/Article.aspx?id=1287

30/10/07

Iraq law to close security loophole 30 Oct 2007 The Iraqi cabinet has approved draft legislation that would end the immunity from prosecution of foreign mercenaries working in the country. Tuesday’s draft approval comes amid reports that the US state department has promised Blackwater mercenaries immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month’s shooting.
english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9E5B39
B5-12E2-412F-9D4C-A6CDC36D58D9.htm

Blackwater guards ‘given immunity’ 30 Oct 2007 Private US security guards being investigated over a shooting in Iraq that left 17 civilians dead, have reportedly been offered immunity by the US state department. The Blackwater mercenaries, who were guarding an embassy convoy at the time of the shooting, were told they would not be prosecuted over statements to officials, the Associated Press news agency said.
english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/8C52D3F
1-950D-4C82-A6E8-180B33AFD690.htm

Immunity Deal Hampers Blackwater Criminal Inquiry —Blackwater Bodyguards Given Immunity In Deadly Shooting 29 Oct 2007 The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards mercenaries immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month’s deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned. The immunity deal has delayed a criminal inquiry into the Sept. 16 killings and could undermine any effort to prosecute security contractors for their role in the incident war crime that has infuriated the Iraqi government.
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte
nt/article/2007/10/29/AR2007102901266.html

Blackwater immunity deal may complicate Iraq probe
Reuters – USA
North Carolina-based Blackwater has about 1000 employees in Iraq who
protect US diplomats and other officials. Iraq says there are more than 180
mainly US …
www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSN30198899

29/10/07

US Gives Immunity to Blackwater Guards
LARA JAKES JORDAN, AP
The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month’s deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned. As a result, it will likely be months before the United States can – if ever – bring criminal charges in the case that has infuriated the Iraqi government. “Once you give immunity, you can’t take it away,” said a senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation….
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=37665

Stark to discuss war accountability at local meetings
By Josh Richman
In a flier that went out to consituents recently, Stark noted companies “such as Blackwater and Halliburton that contract to provide services to our troops in war zones ought to be accountable under US law. If they violate human rights, …
www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2007/10/29/stark-
to-discuss-war-accountability-at-local-meetings/

Immunity Deal Hampers Blackwater Criminal Inquiry —Blackwater Bodyguards Given Immunity In Deadly Shooting 29 Oct 2007 The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards mercenaries immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month’s deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned. The immunity deal has delayed a criminal inquiry into the Sept. 16 killings and could undermine any effort to prosecute security contractors for their role in the incident war crime that has infuriated the Iraqi government.
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content
/article/2007/10/29/AR2007102901266.html

28/10/07

Rice says ‘hole’ in U.S. law shields contractors in Iraq [The hole is in her head.] 26 Oct 2007 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded on Thursday that there was a “hole” in United States law that had allowed Blackwater USA employees and other armed contractors in Iraq to escape legal jeopardy for crimes possibly committed there. In an appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rice said the administration would support new laws that would apply to contractors but expressed reservations about proposals to bring contractors under the military justice system. [See: Officials balked on ‘05 Blackwater inquiry 26 Oct 2007 www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation
/la-na-emails26oct26,0,798301.story
and

www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/26/america/26contractor.php

27/10/07

Officials balked on ‘05 Blackwater inquiry —State Department e-mails obtained by ABC News discuss how to deflect a Times reporter’s questions about a civilian shooting death. 26 Oct 2007 Even as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended her department’s oversight of private security contractors, new evidence surfaced Thursday that the U.S. sought to conceal details of Blackwater shootings of Iraqi civilians more than two years ago. In one instance, internal e-mails show that State Department officials tried to deflect a 2005 Los Angeles Times inquiry into an alleged killing of an Iraqi civilian by Blackwater guards.
www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/
nation/la-na-emails26oct26,0,798301.story

Kerry Demands Investigation of Blackwater Tax Filings —Rather Than Hide Behind Bush Administration, Blackwater Should Come Clean on Taxes (kerry.senate.gov) 26 Oct 2007 Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), pressed for more information about Blackwater USA’s alleged tax evasion. The private security firm has been under fire for hiding behind a Bush Administration business size ruling that classified some of their workers as independent contractors rather than employees to avoid paying at least $31 million in taxes. As a senior member of the Finance Committee, Kerry sent a letter to the Committee’s leadership requesting an investigation be conducted into Blackwater’s tax filings.
kerry.senate.gov/cfm/record.cfm?id=286187

Torture, Paramilitarism, Occupation and Genocide
www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7180
…Today around 200,000 private contractors operate in Iraq. Up to 100,000 of them are paramilitary mercenaries from companies like Blackwater, DynCorp, ArmorGroup, Erinys, Triple Canopy and others like the Australian-owned Unity Resources that murdered two Iraqi women October 9. Blackwater is the largest, is close to the Bush administration, and is cashing in big as a war profiteer from huge continuing no-bid contracts.

DynCorp Thieves May Replace Blackwater Homicidal Maniacs
 10.24.07 (AP)
 The State Department so badly managed a $1.2 billion contract for Iraqi police training that it can’t tell what it got for the money spent, a new report says.
williambowles.info/gispecial/2007/1007/GISpecial5J18.pdf

State Department Coverup on Blackwater Revealed
www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102607B.shtml
T. Christian Miller, reporting for The Los Angeles Times, writes, “Even as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended her department’s oversight of private security contractors, new evidence surfaced Thursday that the US sought to conceal details of Blackwater shootings of Iraqi civilians more than two years ago.”

 

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