Later On

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More Blackwater

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From ThinkProgress (and more at the link, including video clip):

In a memo released today, House Oversight And Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) reveals that of the 195 “escalation of force” incidents Blackwater has been involved in since 2005, Blackwater forces fired first in over 160 of them:

According to the Blackwater incident reports received by the Committee, Blackwater personnel have participated in 195 incidents in Iraq from January 1,2005, through September 12, 2007 , that involved firearms discharges by Blackwater personnel. This is an average of 1.4 incidents per week. In 32 of those incidents, Blackwater personnel were returning fire after an attack, while on 163 occasions (84% of the shooting incidents), Blackwater personnel were the first to fire.

Despite the controversy around Blackwater, the Pentagon recently awarded the firm a new contract worth $92 million. Tomorrow, Blackwater CEO Erik Prince will testify before Waxman’s committee tomorrow.

Read more highlights from Waxman’s memo here and here.

UPDATE: The Oversight Committee’s staff also found evidence that the State Department “helped create an environment where Blackwater guards could use deadly force with minimum reprisal.”

Written by Leisureguy

1 October 2007 at 3:49 pm

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