December 11, 2009 |
Highly trained personnel employed with the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide sometimes operated side by side with CIA field officers in Iraq and Afghanistan as the agency undertook missions to kill or capture members of insurgent groups in those countries, according to a former government official and a source familiar with the operations. The actions taken by the private personnel went beyond the protective role specified in a classified Blackwater contract with the CIA and included active participation in raids overseen by CIA or special forces personnel, the sources said.
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
'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 |
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.
February 14, 2009 |
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."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2010 |
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.
April 22, 2011 |
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.