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Blackwater Guards

August 17, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Half a dozen Blackwater Worldwide security guards have gotten target letters from the Justice Department in an investigation of shootings in Baghdad last year that killed 17 Iraqis. The guards are caught up in the investigation of an incident in September when a Blackwater team arrived in several vehicles at a Baghdad intersection where gunfire erupted, leaving numerous Iraqis dead and wounded. The Washington Post, which first reported the story on the Justice Department letters on its website Saturday night, described the six guards as former U.S. military personnel, but did not identify them.
October 10, 2007
Re "Guards who hurt us," Opinion, Oct. 6 Janessa Gans recounts an incident she experienced while being escorted by a Blackwater USA convoy in which an apparently innocent car was forced off the road. Let's reconsider that scenario from a slightly different viewpoint: that of an Iraqi who finds Gans' mission a direct hindrance to his own plans. For a minimal amount of money, he can arrange for the end of this annoyance. What would be a logical place for his paid assassins to arrange Gans' demise?
October 26, 2007 | T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer
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.
September 24, 2007 | Alexandra Zavis, Times Staff Writer
An Iraqi official conceded Sunday that expelling a private U.S. firm accused in the deaths of at least 11 Iraqi civilians would leave a "security vacuum" and said the two countries would look at ways to better regulate companies that protect Western personnel and facilities in Iraq. A joint U.S.-Iraqi commission was expected to hold its first meeting within days, the American Embassy said.
January 30, 2009 | Monte Morin
Blackwater Worldwide, the security firm accused of using excessive deadly force while protecting U.S. diplomats in Baghdad, would be barred from future work in Iraq under a decision by Baghdad officials to pull the firm's security license. "We have been informed that Blackwater's private security company operating license will not be granted," a U.S. Embassy official said Thursday. "We don't have specifics about dates.
October 20, 2007 | Naomi Klein, Naomi Klein is the author, most recently, of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism."
'We didn't want to get stuck with a lemon." That's what Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said to a House committee last month. He was referring to the "virtual fence" planned for the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada. If the entire project goes as badly as the 28-mile prototype, it could turn out to be one of the most expensive lemons in history, projected to cost $8 billion by 2011.
October 16, 2007 | Tina Susman, Times Staff Writer
In the days after Usama Abbass was shot dead in a Baghdad traffic circle by security guards working for Blackwater USA, his brother visited the U.S.-run National Iraqi Assistance Center seeking compensation. Like other Iraqis who have done the same, he learned a harsh truth: The center in Baghdad's Green Zone handles cases of Iraqis claiming death or damages due to military action, but not due to actions of private contractors such as Blackwater, who work in Iraq for the U.S.
April 23, 2010 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
A military appeals court Thursday overturned the conviction of a Camp Pendleton Marine in the execution-style killing of an Iraqi man in 2006 in Hamandiya, west of Baghdad. The Washington, D.C., court found that then-Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins was denied a fair trial because one of his lead attorneys was allowed to leave the case just before his court-martial. The attorney left active duty. Hutchins, 26, is serving an 11-year sentence at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. The Marine Corps has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the 8-1 decision of the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.
February 14, 2009 | Associated Press
Blackwater Worldwide is still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, but executives at the beleaguered security firm are taking their biggest step yet to put that work and the ugly reputation it earned the company behind them. Blackwater said Friday that it would no longer operate under the name that came to be known worldwide as a caustic moniker for private security, dropping the tarnished brand for a disarming and simple identity: Xe, which is pronounced like the letter "z."
April 22, 2011 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
A federal appeals court in Washington revived manslaughter and weapons charges against four Blackwater Worldwide security guards in a fatal 2007 shooting in Baghdad that outraged Iraqis. The decision by three members of the U.S. Court of Appeals here Friday said that U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina "made a number of systemic errors based on an erroneous legal analysis. " They reversed Urbina's ruling and sent it back to him for further proceedings. "We are pleased with the ruling," said Dean Boyd, a Department of Justice spokesman.
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