September 27, 2007

Blackwater Questions ? Scandal

Blackwater USA is a private security contractor hired by the U.S. Dept. of State to provide police duties in Iraq. However a recent situation involving the shooting death of Iraq civilians in Baghdad Square has put their involvement and government relationship under the microscope. The Washington Post has some coverage about how Blackwater is straining Military and Diplomatic relations with Iraq and U.S. politicians.

There seem to be two open issues here. First, whether or not Blackwater is suitable for the work they have been contracted for. Their actions imply a certain corruption of power and their attitude one of disregard for the authority and trust placed in them. It seems like in this case, asking independent contractors to act as police or soldiers is like asking a four-year-old to direct traffic safely. Blackwater employees are supposed to be trained, and according to the article, many of them are former SEALs. But comments by military personnel don't place much faith in those employees.

Second, exactly how is it Blackwater received this contract and how can it be for such a large sum? reports that Blackwater has received almost $900M for their contracts, while the Defense Department has only received $100M for their role in Iraq, since 2004. This smacks of corruption and kick-backs to me, but I don't have enough information to know if that's really the case.

Posted by josuah at September 27, 2007 7:06 PM UTC+00:00

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