Mirroring other unprovoked shootings which have occured in Iraq with private military services such as Triple Canopy whose employees have allegedly shot at Iraqi Civilians for Sport, the attack by Blackwater last week left
11 Iraqis dead as many as another dozen wounded. Although Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki initially ordered Blackwater to be expelled from the country effectively pulling their license the U.S. State Dept which employs BlackWater to protect their employees intervened and attempted to dispelled the Iraqi account claiming "the basic fact is that there was an attack on the convoy." A claim which has now been countered not only by numerous eye-witness accounts, but also on video!.
No more "He Said/She Said", now we're ready for Spike TV.
Indications of problems with Blackwater have been long coming and had been completely ignored by U.S. Officials.
BAGHDAD, Sept. 22 -- Senior Iraqi officials repeatedly complained to U.S. officials about Blackwater USA's alleged involvement in the deaths of numerous Iraqis, but the Americans took little action to regulate the private security firm until 11 Iraqis were shot dead last Sunday, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.
Before that episode, U.S. officials were made aware in high-level meetings and formal memorandums of Blackwater's alleged transgressions. They included six violent incidents this year allegedly involving the North Carolina firm that left a total of 10 Iraqis dead, the officials said.- Advertisement -
It's little wonder that the U.S. State Dept. has done little to curb these excesses when you note that former CIA Counter-terrorism Chief Cofer Black (he of "bring back Bin Laden's head in a box of dry ice" fame) is Blackwater's Vice-Chairman (as well as being a campaign manager for Mitt Romney!)
Complaints about Blackwater have not just been about security concerns but also a blatant disregard and lack of respect for Iraqis in general, even those in positions of authority.
[Deputy Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Hussein] Kamal said addressing Blackwater’s alleged actions was also a matter of preserving Iraq’s dignity and honor. Seated in his spacious office, he recalled an incident two months ago when Blackwater guards threw a water bottle at a traffic policeman. The officer was so furious that he submitted his resignation, but his superiors turned it down, Kamal said.
"This is a flagrant violation of the law," Kamal said. "This guy is an officer with a rank of a brigadier general. He was standing in the street doing his job, regulating traffic. He represents the state and the law, and yet this happened."
Khalaf also intends to investigate all six other fatal Blackwater shootings in order to paint a more broad picture of habitual Blackwater wrongdoing.
"These six cases will support the case against Blackwater, because they show that it has a criminal record," Khalaf said.
Khalaf said the report had been "sent to the judiciary," although he would not specify whether that amounted to filing of criminal charges. Under Iraqi law, an investigating judge reviews criminal complaints and decides whether there is enough evidence for a trial.- Advertisement -
The AP report did not mention whether Khalaf would also be investigating allegations of Blackwater's involvement in weapons smuggling to suspected terrorists which U.S. Officials have begun to investigate.
UPDATE: On Sunday the Iraqi judiciary announced that they will be pursuing criminal charges against Blackwater.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Iraqi government will file criminal charges against employees of U.S. security firm Blackwater who are blamed for a gun battle in Baghdad in which civilians were killed, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said Sunday.