Blackwater in Iraq, and the loyalties of the American Embassy

Everyone else is covering this, still it seems worthy of mention in this space too:

Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show.

The full story is here, and also it seems the U.S. government is trying to put that reporter in jail for his work.  And here is my 2007 column on Blackwater: “Private contractors may not respect virtue for its own sake, but like most businesses, they will respect the wishes of their most powerful customers, in this case governments. What is wrong with Blackwater may, most of all, mirror what is wrong with Uncle Sam.”

Addendum: The documents by the way are here.  Check out p.6, it reads to me a bit less threatening, and more commentary on the chaos of Iraq, than some accounts are making it out to be.


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