posted at 05:00
Author Name: Michael Kelley
NYT Story On Blackwater Threat In Iraq
Blackwater earned a total of around $2 billion for providing armed personnel to the Pentagon. The top manager for the mercenary group Blackwater told a State Department investigator that "He could kill [him] at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq," James Risen of The New York Times reports. State Department reports obtained by the time paint a dark picture of the U.S. government's relationship in Iraq with the military contractor, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats. "The Blackwater-State Department relationship gave new meaning to the word 'dysfunctional,'" Peter Singer, a strategist at the New America Foundation, told The Times. American embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater over the State Department investigators in the 2007 probe. The threat by Daniel Carroll, Blackwater's project manager in Iraq, came weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle, an incident that has led to one of the former guards being charged with murder. In 2010, Blackwater founder Erik Prince sold the company, which is now called Academi. Following the threat, chief investigator Jean C. Richter wrote a report documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company had created "An environment full of liability and negligence."

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