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Keyword: civiliancontractors

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  • Blackwater Took Hundreds of Guns From U.S. Military, Afghan Police

    02/23/2010 7:40:56 PM PST · by ScottMerge · 25 replies · 740+ views
    Employees of the CIA-connected private security corporation Blackwater diverted hundreds of weapons, including more than 500 AK-47 assault rifles, from a U.S. weapons bunker in Afghanistan intended to equip Afghan policemen, according to an investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee. On at least one occasion, an individual claiming to work for the company evidently signed for a weapons shipment using the name of a “South Park” cartoon character. And Blackwater has yet to return hundreds of the guns to the military. A Blackwater subsidiary known as Paravant that until recently operated in Afghanistan acquired the weapons for its employees’...
  • The Blackwater Lynching

    01/06/2010 7:32:13 PM PST · by Abakumov · 3 replies · 400+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | January 7, 2010 | Editorial
    The dismissed case against five American security contractors charged with committing manslaughter in Iraq illustrates the complexities of fighting an enemy that chooses to wage war among civilians. Worse, it exposes the equally dirty battles conducted by government agencies against our own warriors when bureaucrats respond to political pressure.
  • US Citizens Killed In Afghanistan [8 US Civilians Killed!]

    12/30/2009 11:42:55 AM PST · by Steelfish · 53 replies · 3,334+ views
    BBCNews ^ | December 30, 2009
    US Citizens Killed In Afghanistan Eight Americans have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in south-eastern Afghanistan, US officials say. The suicide bomber was wearing an explosive vest as he carried out the attack at a forward operating base in Khost province, CNN reported. Details about the attack are still emerging and it was not clear how many people had been injured. One unnamed US official was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying that all of those killed were civilians.
  • Blackwater founder Erik Prince tells Vanity Fair: 'I'm through'

    12/05/2009 8:14:48 PM PST · by Irisshlass · 64 replies · 3,100+ views
    The Grand Rapids Press ^ | Dec 3, 2009 | Troy Reimink
    <p>It was reported this week that Holland native Erik Prince is severing ties to Blackwater, the controversial international security firm he founded, complaining that he had been "thrown under the bus."</p> <p>In that context, Vanity Fair's profile of Prince is a compelling read. Prince invited the magazine to tour the headquarters of Blackwater (now called Xe) in North Carolina and examine its operation in Afghanistan, presumably to clear the air.</p>
  • Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist

    11/25/2009 8:55:22 AM PST · by Paige · 118 replies · 4,826+ views
    Fox News ^ | 11/24/2009 | Rowan Scarborough
    Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told
  • From Abu Ghraib To Kabul, Blackwater Members Are Drunk (propaganda)

    09/07/2009 6:43:33 AM PDT · by BCW · 23 replies · 1,238+ views
    Al Noor Newspaper (Baghdad) ^ | 06 SEPT 2009 | Not Given
    An American newspaper has revealed a new scandal committed by Blackwater (actually it was Armor Group - foreign 3rd world personnel) security guards protecting the American Embassy in the Afghan capital city of Kabul. The newspaper published a report titled ‘This is what our children are doing abroad’. The report said, “They are drinking vodka and peeing on themselves like animals. They intentionally run outside naked and then pour vodka over each other’s asses.” The newspaper wondered, “What makes the Pentagon deal with these ‘special companies’ that cause harm and kill in a criminal way?” The newspaper noted, “Their ‘gay...
  • Probe of CIA to include civilian-contractor cases (torture probe)

    08/27/2009 5:02:13 AM PDT · by dynachrome · 6 replies · 443+ views
    LA Times via Denver Post ^ | 8-27-09 | Josh Meyer
    The Justice Department prosecutor appointed this week to examine the CIA's interrogation program will revisit long dormant-cases of abuse by the agency's civilian contractors, bringing new attention to a little- known but controversial element of the Bush administration's war on terrorism. Civilian contractors used by the CIA at secret overseas facilities were said to be involved in a series of cases of detainee abuses and deaths in the years following the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, but only one was ever prosecuted. The contractors also played a key but secret role in the CIA's brutal interrogations of suspected top...
  • The Nation’s Blackwater Charge a Dud

    08/06/2009 10:45:43 AM PDT · by AJKauf · 6 replies · 515+ views
    Pajamas Media ^ | August 6 | Bob Owens
    he Nation is claiming to have information from informants that Blackwater founder Erik Prince is some sort of delusional latter-day Templar Knight, ordering murders to cover up his plot to wage war against the Islamic world. If it sounds a bit far-fetched … well, it should. Without going into the specific allegations being made in the consolidated civil cases, logic and factual errors in claims made in the article are troubling. See this claim from a man who claims to be a former member of the Blackwater management team, identified as John Doe #2: "Using his various companies, [Prince] procured...
  • Blackwater Chief Accused of Murder, Gun-Running

    08/05/2009 2:02:23 PM PDT · by Hawk720 · 13 replies · 1,251+ views ^ | August 5, 2009 | JUSTIN ROOD
    The head of Blackwater and his employees may have killed or ordered the killing of people suspected of cooperating with federal investigators probing their activities, according to an anonymous affidavit filed in federal court Monday. The affidavit, one of two filed Monday, makes an extraordinary bundle of claims about the former Blackwater CEO, Erik Prince, and his employees. The existence of the documents was first reported by the Nation magazine Tuesday. They were filed as part of a civil suit against Prince and Blackwater by several Iraqis, which accuse the firm and owner of war crimes, wrongful death and more....
  • Iraqis detain 5 Americans in Baghdad

    06/07/2009 1:11:31 PM PDT · by STARWISE · 10 replies · 587+ views
    Breitbart/AP ^ | 6-7-09 | Kim Gamel
    Iraqi authorities have detained five U.S. citizens in connection with the death of an American contractor in Baghdad, officials said Sunday, in what could be the first case of Americans facing local justice under a joint security pact that took effect this year. The body of Jim Kitterman, who was reportedly bound, blindfolded and stabbed, was found in his car last month in the protected Green Zone where his small construction company was based. It was an unprecedented slaying in the sprawling district and occurred at a time when blast walls are coming down and Iraqi forces are assuming greater...
  • Iraqi forces arrest five U.S. security contractors

    06/07/2009 11:42:10 AM PDT · by Allegra · 20 replies · 828+ views
    Reuters via Yahoo News ^ | June 7, 2009 | Waleed Ibrahim
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi forces detained five U.S. security contractors in connection with the killing of a fellow American contractor last month in Baghdad's Green Zone, an Iraqi government spokesman said on Sunday. Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the Interior Ministry spokesman, said the five men were being held at an Iraqi police station in the capital's heavily-fortified central district while a joint Iraqi-U.S. committee investigated. The detainees could become the first Americans to face local justice since a bilateral security pact came into force at the start of this year making U.S. contractors subject to Iraqi law. "There are no...
  • The CIA's $1,000 a Day Specialists on Waterboarding, Interrogations

    04/30/2009 3:55:22 PM PDT · by MNDude · 127 replies · 5,185+ views
    As the secrets about the CIA's interrogation techniques continue to come out, there's new information about the frequency and severity of their use, contradicting an 2007 ABC News report, and a new focus on two private contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture.
  • BAE Systems delivers 500th M777 Howitzer (Most to US MIlitary)

    04/17/2009 5:15:40 PM PDT · by Jeff Head · 44 replies · 3,470+ views
    Defence Talk ^ | April 17, 2009 | Jeff Head
    BARROW, UK: BAE Systems workers today celebrated delivery of the 500th M777 howitzer to the US military. Weighing in at less than 4200kg, the revolutionary M777 is the world's first artillery weapon to make widespread use of titanium and aluminum alloys, resulting in a howitzer which is half the weight of conventional 155mm systems. BAE Systems Global Combat Systems' facility at Barrow-in- Furness is responsible for the prime contract management of the M777 programme, including direct customer liaison and acceptance of the weapon system in the US, control of the UK and US supply chain, engineering design authority and manufacturing...
  • EXCLUSIVE: Blackwater back in U.S. employ

    03/17/2009 10:29:23 AM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 27 replies · 1,080+ views
    Washington Times ^ | March 17, 2009 | Jim McElhatton
    Days after the Baghdad government decided it no longer wanted the company then known as Blackwater in Iraq, the State Department signed a $22.2 million deal in February to keep the embattled contractor working there through most of the summer, contract records show. The decision keeps Blackwater - since renamed Xe - in Iraq months longer than anyone has suggested publicly, while raising questions about why the U.S. would pay a contractor for work in Iraq if it may not be able to operate there legally. The State Department has been under pressure from Blackwater critics, including several in Congress,...
  • Former Marine Killed in Iraq

    03/07/2009 1:04:06 AM PST · by ShadowDancer · 12 replies · 1,066+ views ^ | March 6, 2009 | Ron Savage
    Former Marine Killed in IraqLast Edited: Friday, 06 Mar 2009, 10:38 PM EST Created On: Friday, 06 Mar 2009, 10:37 PM EST Ron Savage RIVERVIEW, Mich. - A former Marine from metropolitan Detroit is killed in Iraq. 25-year-old Justin Pope was working for a U.S. contractor. Friday night, he was remembered as a kind and brave man who wanted to serve his country. A crowd of more than 100 people gathered to celebrate his life. The Riverview police and fire departments also joined the vigil. It was an evening of prayers, candles and crying. Pope served two tours of duty...
  • Official: Blackwater contract for Iraq not renewed

    01/30/2009 11:57:13 AM PST · by SmithL · 49 replies · 1,164+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 1/30/9 | MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- A senior U.S. official says the State Department will not renew Blackwater Worldwide's contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq when it expires in May.
  • Iraq bars Blackwater, tarnished by civilian deaths

    01/29/2009 6:02:16 AM PST · by BCW · 8 replies · 489+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 29 JAN 2009 | SINAN SALAHEDDIN
    Iraq said Thursday it will bar Blackwater Worldwide from providing security protection for U.S. diplomats because its contractors used excessive force, sanctioning a company whose image was irrevocably tarnished by the 2007 killings of 17 Iraqi civilians. The move will deprive American diplomats of their main protection force in Iraq. The decision not to issue Blackwater an operating license was due to "improper conduct and excessive use of force," ...
  • Iraq won't allow Blackwater to operate in country

    01/29/2009 3:23:32 AM PST · by Virginia Ridgerunner · 12 replies · 754+ views
    AP, via Yahoo! News ^ | January 29, 2009 | SINAN SALAHEDDIN
    Iraq will not allow Blackwater Worldwide to continue providing security protection for U.S. diplomats in the country, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Thursday. (snip) The decision not to issue Blackwater an operating license was due to "improper conduct and excessive use of force," said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf.
  • KBR Possibly To Be Charged With Negligent Homicide [Kellog Brown & Root / AKA Halliburton]

    01/22/2009 8:23:14 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 47 replies · 3,497+ views ^ | Jan. 22, 2009 |
    BREAKING NEWS CNN (January 22/2009) 3:55pm EST: KBR, formally Halliburton, a private contractors, through shoddy work caused electrocution deaths of U.S. soldiers in army bases in Iraq.
  • Fixing U.S. economy’s health is a boon for D.C. region

    01/17/2009 8:14:25 AM PST · by TFine80 · 5 replies · 343+ views
    AP posted on ^ | January 17, 2009 | By Brian Westley Associated Press
    <p>WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When the nation’s in pain, Washington often gains. Whether it’s a buildup of Civil War troops, Depression-era bureaucrats or defense contractors after Sept. 11, the region has prospered in times of crisis. Today, the financial meltdown is delivering a jolt of its own.</p>
  • Into Blackwater (What you probably didn't know)

    11/11/2008 11:56:51 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 46 replies · 476+ views
    Townhall ^ | November 11, 2008 | John McCaslin
    As Erik Prince rattles off history's roster of "privateers," or independent contractors who helped shape, secure and ultimately spread American democracy — Revolutionary War naval fighter John Paul Jones to the "Flying Tigers" of World War II — a U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue helicopter swoops down over a lake outside his office window and evacuates four souls in distress. A hundred yards beyond the orange-and-white chopper, green smoke pours from a bombed-out vehicle carrying an American diplomat, who lies injured on the ground. Within seconds, a security team in three four-wheel-drive vehicles speeds in reverse to rescue the official and...
  • Protesting: The New Business Strategy

    07/18/2008 4:27:39 PM PDT · by kc8ukw · 6 replies · 151+ views ^ | July 18, 2008 | Brian Wingfield and Lea Erculiani
    Washington, D.C. - Here's a new reason for taxpayer dismay: There's increasing evidence that companies may be protesting government contract awards as a strategy to negotiate their way into contracts or to derail an award process already in place. ... In February, IBM protested the Federal Bureau of Investigation's award of a $1 billion contract to Lockheed Martin (nyse: LMT - news - people ). Big Blue dropped its dispute two months later when Lockheed announced it would use IBM as a subcontractor.
  • Federal judge allows Blackwater to open San Diego facility

    06/04/2008 4:13:23 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 181+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 6/4/8 | ALLISON HOFFMAN, Associated Press Writer
    San Diego, CA (AP) -- A federal judge ordered the city of San Diego Wednesday to allow military contractor Blackwater Worldwide to begin using a new counterterrorism training facility. District Court Judge Marilyn Huff ruled that the company would suffer irreparable harm if it could not begin holding classes for Navy sailors at a converted warehouse outfitted with an indoor firing range. Blackwater sued last month to force the city to issue final occupancy permits after the required inspections were already approved, claiming officials upended normal procedures because they were concerned about political backlash. The city responded that the company...
  • UPDATE: KBR says $550 million deal for BE&K will bolster growth

    05/07/2008 11:26:25 AM PDT · by redtetrahedron · 5 replies · 359+ views
    Birmingham News via AL.COM ^ | May 07, 2008 | Russell Hubbard
    KBR Corp. said today it would buy BE&K, the 48th largest general construction contractor in the country with 9,000 worldwide employees, for $550 million. KBR, the nation's fourth largest general contractor, was spun off last year as its own publicly traded company from Houston-based Halliburton Corp., the largest contractor for military services in Iraq.
  • Family of contractor: Another body found in Iraq

    04/20/2008 3:29:54 PM PDT · by RDTF · 4 replies · 129+ views
    Breitbart ^ | April 20, 2008 | AP
    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The family of a contractor kidnapped in Iraq said Sunday that U.S. officials have notified them they've found a body that could be his. The family of Jonathon Cote said on the Web site Free Cote that an unidentified sixth body has been recovered near Basra, in southern Iraq. Cote was one of six Western contractors kidnapped in two separate incidents. The Getzville, N.Y., resident was working in Kuwait for Crescent Security Group when he and four colleagues were abducted in November 2006. -snip-
  • U.S. supplier sent Afghan troops decades-old ammo

    03/27/2008 2:18:19 PM PDT · by primeval patriot · 87 replies · 1,767+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | 3-27-08 | various
    Since 2006, when the insurgency in Afghanistan sharply intensified, the Afghan government has been dependent on American logistics and military support in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. But to arm the Afghan forces that it hopes will lead this fight, the U.S. military has relied since early last year on a fledgling company led by a 22-year-old man, Efraim Diveroli, whose vice president was a licensed masseur. With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, Fla.,...
  • Two U.S. Citizens Killed In Green Zone attack

    03/27/2008 11:48:08 AM PDT · by maquiladora · 4 replies · 529+ views
    The State Department confirms that two U.S. citizens have died in Iraq this week from indirect fire by rocket and mortar attacks in the Green Zone. The first person, a contractor for the US Army, died on Monday, March 24, and this afternoon, we have confirmation that another U.S. citizen has died from the latest round of fire. The State Department says of this latest death "no further details, pending notification of next of kin."
  • Officials await IDs on 3 Iraq bodies

    03/25/2008 7:45:38 PM PDT · by atomic conspiracy · 2 replies · 275+ views
    AP via Yahoo ^ | 3-25-08 | MATT APUZZO,
    WASHINGTON - Authorities are awaiting identification of the remains of three bodies in Iraq, a U.S. law enforcement official said Tuesday, a day after the remains of two kidnapped contractors were identified. Four other kidnapped Western contractors have been missing for more than a year. The disappearances received new attention this month when the severed fingers of several men were sent to the U.S. military in Iraq. Several relatives had taken the discovery of the fingers as a hopeful sign but hopes dimmed Monday when the FBI said the remains of Ronald Withrow of Roaring Springs, Texas, and John Roy...
  • Bodies of three more US contractors found in Iraq

    03/25/2008 10:57:49 AM PDT · by ButThreeLeftsDo · 5 replies · 684+ views ^ | 3/25/08 |
    Authorities are awaiting identification of the remains of three more bodies found in Iraq, a U.S. law enforcement official said Tuesday. Sources say the remains are those of more missing contractors; the news comes a day after the remains of two kidnapped contractors were identified. Among the missing are Paul Johnson Reuben of Buffalo, Minnesota. The others still missing are Jonathon Cote, of Getzville, N.Y.; Joshua Munns of Redding, Calif.; and Bert Nussbaumer of Vienna, Austria. A finger from each was received by the military recently. Four other kidnapped Western contractors have been missing for more than a year. The...
  • Hostage's Finger Mailed To U.S. Authorities In Iraq

    03/15/2008 10:35:50 AM PDT · by Army Air Corps · 16 replies · 552+ views
    KCBD News Channel 11 ^ | 13 March 2008
    "I'm just - beside myself," says Barbara Alexander Barbara has been living a nightmare since January 2007. Her son Ronald J. Withrow or Ronnie, now 40, was taken hostage in Iraq while working with a computer company. Barbara longs every day for new information about her son's safety and his whereabouts and Thursday she finally got some, but it wasn't quite the good news she was hoping for. Ronnie's severed finger had been mailed to U.S. authorities in Baghdad. "Whenever you are surprised by news like that, you know, it just sends you way on back. You're just back sided,"...
  • State Dept. Contractors In Iraq Are Reined In (new MOU, State Dept. stays in control)

    12/06/2007 6:20:42 AM PST · by RDTF · 3 replies · 70+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | Dec 6, 2007 | Karen DeYoung
    Military to Receive Notice of Operations A new memorandum of understanding on private security contractors in Iraq, agreed to in Baghdad by Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq, requires "full coordination" between military and diplomatic officials on the ground but leaves State in control of its own contractors, U.S. officials said. The agreement, which has not been published, places a military official for the first time in the tactical operations center of the embassy's security office, according to Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte. The military will receive "prior notification"...
  • Crescent Security says Paul Reuben,(MN) hostages in Iraq are alive

    11/19/2007 3:32:27 PM PST · by ButThreeLeftsDo · 7 replies · 763+ views ^ | 11/19/07 |
    Five Western security contractors kidnapped a year ago in Iraq are still alive, their employer said Monday, stressing that authorities are exerting all efforts to secure their release. The four Americans and an Austrian colleague employed by Kuwait-based Crescent Security Group were among 14 people kidnapped Nov. 16, 2006, by men in Iraqi police uniforms who ambushed a convoy they were escorting near the southern Iraqi border city of Safwan. Crescent managing partner Franco Picco said the company has been working with the FBI to find the men. They are alive and "we do have an idea where they are."...
  • Blackwater, A different Spin

    11/14/2007 5:49:21 AM PST · by Bulldawg Fan · 6 replies · 162+ views
    Email ^ | Nov 14, 2007 | Private
    (The URL will not go to this email) Classification: UNCLASSIFIED -----Original Message----- From: Subject: FW: Blackwater Thanks to US Naval Officer John Doe for sharing this personal information regarding Blackwater and other security contractors in Iraq. I think you will find it counter to all you are reading here.....Hal ============================================================================ I was asked recently by a WW II veteran if I had an opinion on the activities of the men under contract with Blackwater in Iraq. Having no personal knowledge, I asked a person whom I believed had 'been there and done that.' The reply from Don Kropp, Colonel USA...
  • Rice to boost oversight of contractors in Iraq

    10/23/2007 9:27:28 PM PDT · by KTM rider · 5 replies · 147+ views
    Rueters ^ | Oct 10, 2007 | Sue Pleming
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday ordered tougher oversight of private guards in Iraq, including tighter rules on the use of force, following deadly shootings involving U.S. security contractor Blackwater. The State Department said other measures included improved training and clearer rules of engagement, better coordination with the U.S. military as well as cultural sensitivity training for guards and more Arabic speakers. Rice made the move following recommendations by a panel of experts she appointed to look into the work of private security contractors after the September 16 shooting incident in Baghdad that killed at...
  • The Geopolitical Foundations of Blackwater

    10/11/2007 7:14:30 PM PDT · by brityank · 1 replies · 120+ views
    Email from Stratfor ^ | 10/10/2007 | George Friedman
    The Geopolitical Foundations of Blackwater By George Friedman For the past three weeks, Blackwater, a private security firm under contract to the U.S. State Department, has been under intense scrutiny over its operations in Iraq. The Blackwater controversy has highlighted the use of civilians for what appears to be combat or near-combat missions in Iraq. Moreover, it has raised two important questions: Who controls these private forces and to whom are they accountable? The issue is neither unique to Blackwater nor to matters of combat. There have long been questions about the role of Halliburton and its former subsidiary,...
  • State Dept. May Phase Out Blackwater

    10/10/2007 3:18:35 PM PDT · by RDTF · 50 replies · 880+ views
    Breitbart ^ | October 10, 2007 | AP
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department may phase out or limit the use of private security guards in Iraq, which could mean canceling Blackwater USA's contract or awarding it to another company in line with an Iraqi government demand, The Associated Press has learned. -snip- The officials said Kennedy's team was not expected to recommend eliminating all private contractors because it would have a profound impact on how U.S. diplomats work in Iraq. The State Department's own Bureau of Diplomatic Security lacks both the manpower and equipment, notably helicopters, to do the job, they said. The State Department has operated...
  • Pentagon Hints Contractors Can Be Tried In Military Courts

    09/27/2007 8:55:29 AM PDT · by RDTF · 34 replies · 94+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | Sept 27, 2007 | Sharon Behn
    Pentagon officials suggested yesterday that U.S. civilian security contractors in Iraq fall under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and could be prosecuted in military courts for offenses against Iraqis. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters that while U.S. civilians working in Iraq under Department of Defense contracts were not subject to Iraqi law, they could be held accountable under U.S. law. Iraqi officials have complained of their inability to prosecute civilian contractors, some of whom have been accused of shooting indiscriminately into crowds and killing innocent civilians. Questions have been raised whether the contractors are subject to any law...
  • Tabloid Attack Dogs Seek Next Victims: KBR and Blackwater

    09/26/2007 6:51:52 PM PDT · by captjanaway · 16 replies · 212+ views
    FamilySecurityMatters ^ | 9/26/07 | Mark R. Taylor
    Before the smoke cleared from the attack on a Blackwater security detail in Iraq on September 16, 2007, the mainstream media began its relentless attacks on the security contractors who have risked their lives – and in some cases given their lives - to serve our country in Iraq. Their assignment, among other things, is to protect their principals - reporters, ambassadors, Senators, Congressmen and even Secretary of State Condolezza Rice - in war-torn Iraq. It is not lost among those of us who endured the same frenzied and sensational journalism while driving trucks in Iraq for KBR in 2004/2005...
  • Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army (BOOK REVIEW)

    09/23/2007 10:02:00 AM PDT · by goarmy · 48 replies · 131+ views
    Times Online ^ | August 19, 2007 | Rod Liddle
    Blackwater is a private company that does the dirty work for America in various wars, both covert and those we know about all too well. It began only 10 years ago as a sort of cheerful paintball and shooting range in the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina, but these days it has some 20,000 mercenaries on its books (the “whores of war”), not to mention a whole bunch of quasi-military aircraft, a military base, lots and lots of guns and connections with precisely the right people. It was brought into existence by Erik Prince, a somewhat right-of-centre Roman Catholic...
  • US Resumes Blackwater Convoys in Iraq

    09/21/2007 10:34:45 AM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies · 85+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 9/21/7 | KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
    BAGHDAD, (AP) -- 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 security firm. A top aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had earlier conceded it may prove difficult for the Iraqi government to follow through on threats to expel Blackwater and other Western security contractors. The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation into Sunday's incident was ongoing, said a way out of the Blackwater crisis could...
  • Feds target Blackwater in weapons probe

    09/22/2007 5:07:07 AM PDT · by decimon · 24 replies · 484+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 22, 2007 | MATTHEW LEE
    WASHINGTON - 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 U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh, N.C., is handling the investigation with help from Pentagon and State Department auditors, who have concluded there is enough evidence to file charges, the officials told The Associated Press. Blackwater is based in Moyock, N.C. A spokeswoman for Blackwater did not return calls seeking comment Friday. The U.S. attorney for the...
  • Who watches US security firms in Iraq?

    09/19/2007 4:39:16 AM PDT · by decimon · 18+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 19, 2007 | RICHARD LARDNER
    WASHINGTON - The fog of war keeps getting thicker. The Iraqi government's decision to temporarily ban the security company Blackwater USA after a fatal shooting of civilians in Baghdad reveals a growing web of rules governing weapons-bearing private contractors but few signs U.S. agencies are aggressively enforcing them. Nearly a year after a law was passed holding contracted employees to the same code of justice as military personnel, the Bush administration has not published guidance on how military lawyers should do that, according to Peter Singer, a security industry expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. A Congressional Research Service...
  • Can the U.S. Live Without Blackwater?

    09/19/2007 10:50:31 AM PDT · by presidio9 · 86 replies · 127+ views
    During a telephone conversation on Monday night, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed that U.S. diplomats must be free to travel around Iraq, but how they will do that is now a point of contention. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad relies heavily on Blackwater security to guard its personnel as they visit government ministries and other sites around Iraq. American diplomats have not been able to travel outside the Green Zone since Iraq suspended Blackwater's license following a firefight Sunday that resulted in the deaths of at least eight Iraqi civilians. "We're there...
  • Iraq revokes security contractor license after shootout

    09/17/2007 10:08:27 AM PDT · by Abathar · 32 replies · 124+ views
    Reuters via Yahoo! ^ | 09/17/07 | Aseel Kami
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq announced on Monday it had withdrawn the license of a U.S. security firm and would prosecute employees it said were involved in a Baghdad shooting in which 11 people were killed. An Interior Ministry spokesman said guards working for Blackwater, one of the biggest foreign security contractors in Iraq, opened fire after mortar rounds landed near their convoy in west Baghdad's Mansour district on Sunday. "By chance the company was passing by. They opened fire randomly at citizens," Brigadier-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said. Eleven people were killed, including one policeman, and 13 people were wounded, he said....
  • Blackwater Critics Jump on Iraq Shootout

    09/17/2007 4:09:13 PM PDT · by radar101 · 20 replies · 105+ views
    Guardian Unlimited ^ | 17 SEPT 2007 | MIKE BAKER
    Those critics now include the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which said Monday it had revoked Blackwater's license to operate following a chaotic weekend shootout that Iraqi authorities say left eight civilians dead and 13 injured. ``The 'civilians' reportedly fired upon by Blackwater professionals were in fact armed enemies and Blackwater personnel returned defensive fire,'' company spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said late Monday. ``Blackwater regrets any loss of life, but this convoy was violently attacked by armed insurgents, not civilians, and our people did their job to defend human life.'' ``The Blackwater guys are not fools,'' Pelton said. ``If they were gunning down...
  • Blackwater license being pulled in Iraq

    09/17/2007 4:34:26 AM PDT · by decimon · 92 replies · 3,049+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 17, 2007 | BASSEM MROUE
    BAGHDAD - The Interior Ministry said Monday that it was pulling the license of an American security firm allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of civilians during an attack on a U.S. State Department motorcade in Baghdad. The ministry said it would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force in the Sunday incident. Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said eight people were killed and 13 were wounded when security contractors working for Blackwater USA opened fire in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood of western Baghdad. "We have canceled the license of Blackwater and prevented them from working all...
  • "Help Wanted" Ad Belies Report on Iraq Security

    09/17/2007 8:48:21 AM PDT · by MurryMom · 26 replies · 310+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | September 17, 2007 | Walter Pincus
    A week ago today, Gen. David H. Petraeus started his rounds on Capitol Hill, reporting that security in Iraq was improving to the point that a small number of troops could begin coming home by year's end. But 10 days ago, his commanders in Baghdad began advertising for private contractors to work in combat-supply warehouses on U.S. bases throughout Iraq because half the soldiers who had been working in the warehouses were needed for patrols, combat and protection of U.S. forces.
  • Iraq expels American security firm

    09/17/2007 2:14:34 PM PDT · by Extremely Extreme Extremist · 40 replies · 599+ views
    YAHOO NEWS ^ | 17 SEPTEMBER 2007 | AP
    BAGHDAD - 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. The order by the Interior Ministry, if carried out, would deal a severe blow to U.S. government operations in Iraq by stripping diplomats, engineers, reconstruction officials and others of their security protection. 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...
  • Contractor Deaths Push Total U.S. Toll in Iraq Near 5,000(100K private contractor force)

    08/29/2007 2:17:48 PM PDT · by kellynla · 36 replies · 915+ views ^ | August 27, 2007 | Rod Proctor
    The death toll of Americans killed in Iraq is much higher than commonly reported and may now exceed 5,000, based on Pentagon and U.S. Labor Department reports. That's because official Pentagon statistics do not count the deaths of private contractors, who are playing a much bigger role in Iraq than in most previous wars. Based on workers' compensation claims filed with the U.S. Labor Department, 1,001 contract employees had died in Iraq as of June. Adding contractor deaths to the Pentagon's statistics gives a more realistic assessment of the war’s total impact. As of late August, for example, the Pentagon...
  • Blackwater Buys Brazilian Bombers-(mercenaries)

    08/27/2007 4:25:09 PM PDT · by Flavius · 23 replies · 2,749+ views
    strategy page ^ | August 27, 2007 | strategy page
    Security company 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.