Incredibly, the State Department has extended its contract with tainted mercenary firm Blackwater USA for another year in spite of the massacre of Iraqi civilians by operatives.
Blackwater operatives are assigned to protect American diplomats in Iraq but have been involved in multiple, unprovoked killings of Iraqi civilians and a Inspector General’s report last year said the company of hired killers based in North Carolina is “out of control.”
According to sources, the order to keep Blackwater on the payroll came direct from the White House. Blackwater CEO Erik Prince is a large contributor to Republican causes and the two previous Presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush.
Reports The Associated Press:
The State Department says it will renew Blackwater USA’s license to protect diplomats in Baghdad for one year, but a final decision about whether the private security company will keep the job is pending.
A top State Department official said that because the FBI is still investigating last year’s fatal shooting of Baghdad civilians, there is no reason not to renew the contract when it comes due in May. Blackwater has a five-year deal to provide personal protection for diplomats, which is reauthorized each year.
Iraqis were outraged over a Sept. 16 shooting in which 17 civilians were killed in a Baghdad square. Blackwater said its guards were protecting diplomats under attack before they opened fire, but Iraqi investigators concluded the shooting was unprovoked.