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.
September 20, 2007 |
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Wednesday demanded that the U.S. Embassy here replace the private security company Blackwater USA because of its involvement in a weekend shooting incident that reportedly left 11 Iraqis dead. Embassy officials, who are guarded by Blackwater personnel when they venture out of the heavily protected Green Zone, rebuffed the suggestion, saying Blackwater's fate would be resolved only after an investigation was completed.
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 26, 2012 |
Among the thousands of interviews I've conducted as a human rights investigator over the last 24 years, one of the most difficult was in 1996, outside a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border. I was no stranger to suffering in my country. I had fled from Burma (also known as Myanmar) just a few years before, escaping the brutal military regime after being arrested and tortured. I had gone to the camp to investigate reports that villages were being uprooted and brutalized to make way for a natural gas pipeline built by U.S. oil giant Unocal and other multinational corporations.
September 21, 2007 |
Habib Sadr was sitting at his desk when the shots rang out. A sniper had just shot three security guards outside his office at the government-run Iraqi Media Network. With the fatally wounded guards lying by their checkpoint, a security convoy rolled into the neighboring Justice Ministry compound. Sadr believed the sniper was with them. The incident, he said, was a brutal introduction into the world of private security contractors.