Upcoming Blackwater Announcement

Posted by Sean McCormack
September 28, 2007

Look tomorrow (9/28) for an announcement naming experts outside of the State Department who will be part of the Washington-based review on personal security contractor operations in Iraq that was announced last week. Secretary Rice decided today, after a meeting with several senior advisors, on the structure of the review.

Pat Kennedy will lead a small team to Iraq early next week to begin establishing a baseline set of facts about these contractor operations and provide Secretary Rice with an interim report no liater than next Friday. (Note: Pat has already done a lot of groundwork in Washington since last Friday when the review was announced.) The soon to be announced outside experts will also receive the report. I expect they will also travel to Iraq, either with Pat or separately, to conduct their own ground truth assessment. Meanwhile, Pat will continue his work, feeding his findings to the senior outside experts.

Based on Pat's work, as well as their own assessments, the panel will then make a set of recommendations to Secretary Rice several weeks from now. About the review, she said that she wants "...it to be 360 [degrees], to be serious, and to be really probing."



United States
September 28, 2007

Tom in U.S.A. writes:
Why hasn't Blackwater U.S.A. been investigated by the Justice Dept.? Blackwater U.S.A. employees are acting under the direction of our U.S. governemnt are they not? If fraud and other criminal acts are being committed by them why aren't they being prosecuted?

September 30, 2007

Robin in Romania writes:
@ -- Tom in U.S.A.

I agree with you Tom. I ask myself the same question. And I might have an answer for you: cover up operations don't need the Justice Dept. interfering.

It's a shame that so many people were killed and no one was held responsible for it. I agree, there's a war there, but not against Iraqi civilians and the U.S. military. Not by a mile.

United States
October 2, 2007

Kim in U.S. writes:
Following the deaths of more than 236 people killed in simultaneous al-Qaida bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania,
it's naive to minimize the enormous security risks posed to U.S. diplomatic officials in Iraq, or to Iraqi or coaltion officials, for that matter. Blackwater has an unenviable assignment in an unforgivable climate. But, they have steadily protected and saved more lives with quiet heroism than we will ever possibly know from the headlines they generate.

October 3, 2007

H. writes:
It appears the State Department does not adequately review its contracts. Personnel from the State Dept before Congressman Waxman were unable to answer simple questions. This does not reflect well on the President or the State Department. What is the status of the IG access to all State Department contracts related to Iraq?

United States
October 3, 2007

Becky in U.S.A. writes:
@ Kim in U.S. -- I agree with Kim. According to the May 18 NY Times, "That brings the total number of contractors killed in Iraq to at least 917, along with more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job, according to government figures and dozens of interviews." The State Department provides diplomats, not security guards, and our own Congress years ago required the government to start contracting out "non-governmental functions." Although more oversight of government contractors might be appropriate, those working for Blackwater and the like are to be commended as heroes.

Alabama, USA
October 9, 2007

Malen in Alabama writes:
If you have not driven down the road from the IZ to the Airport and seen the bodies of the men from Blackwater laying dead where they tried to protect Americans it is easy to judge.In a country where you foe does not wear a uniform or stand and fight but hides and kills you with IEDS at times no matter how hard you try things happen. I will have to say thank you to Blackwater for the times I came back safe to the IZ after working with the people of Iraq on rebuilding their Fire Service. That work could not have been done with out men from companies like Blackwater looking out for me.

Sara B.
Texas, USA
October 10, 2007

Sara in Texas writes:
Does this mean I need to stop wearing my Blackwater U.S.A. t-shirt?

California, USA
October 11, 2007

Martin in California writes:
@ Malen in Alabama -- I read Malen's post above and I am sure she is right. I am sure that there are many great Blackwater contractors. The question is not are there many great ones, but are there any bad ones? It looks like there have been some behaviors that are no longer appropriate for the current conditions.

I see that Ms. Rice has mandated dash-cams. Does this include cameras on the overhead helicoptors?

Wellness W.
March 1, 2008

WBW in Germany writes:

Thanks for very interesting article. btw.

I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.

It's interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else's point of view... makes you think more. So please keep up the great work.



Latest Stories