About Blackwater guard screamed 'stop shooting'
|September 30th, 2007||#1|
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Blackwater guard screamed 'stop shooting' info
The Washington Post and The New York Times quoted unnamed US officials saying they had been told at least one employee of the private American security firm pointed a gun at a fellow guard to try and curb the shooting in Baghdad on September 16.
Blackwater, one of the biggest private security operators in Iraq, employing 1000 people, has said its guards reacted lawfully to an attack on a US convoy. It was not immediately available for comment on the media reports.
Citing a two-page US embassy report, The Washington Post described an afternoon of mayhem including a car bomb, a shootout at a crowded junction and a standoff between Iraqi soldiers and Blackwater guards, eventually ended by US troops.
"We're not commenting on the substance of the investigation," a spokeswoman for the US embassy said.
Iraq has called the incident a flagrant assault and there are now several separate investigations, including a joint Iraqi-US commission looking at private security firms used to protect US government staff in Iraq.
Iraq says there are more than 180 mainly US and European security companies in Iraq, with estimates of the number of private contractors ranging from 25,000 to 48,000.
Under a 2004 rule, the firms are immune from Iraqi law.
Citing the two-page "first blush" embassy report on the September 16 incident, based on Blackwater testimony immediately afterwards, The Washington Post said the events that led to the deadly shooting involved three Blackwater units.
A State Department official quoted by the paper said it was only an initial account and the details could change as the investigations progressed.
The report said two units escorted a US official back to the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad "without incident" after a car bomb exploded near a compound in which the official was having a meeting.
A third team sent from the Green Zone to help evacuate the official then came under "small arms fire" from "multiple nearby locations" at a road junction in Baghdad's upscale Mansour neighbourhood, the report said.
This version contrasts with statements from Iraqi police and witnesses who said Blackwater guards were the only ones firing.
The US official familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post some of those involved in the shooting said at least one guard pointed a weapon at his colleagues.
"Stop shooting – those are the words that we're hearing were used," the official was quoted as saying.
The US official quoted by The New York Times said the words "ceasefire" were used by one or more Blackwater guards and at least one carried on shooting despite the calls.
This unit then returned to the Green Zone. One of the first Blackwater teams sent back to help was surrounded by Iraqi security forces at the same junction.
There was a standoff and US troops came to mediate. They escorted the Blackwater guards back to the Green Zone without incident, the report said.
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, a former ambassador to Iraq, said "something went tragically wrong on September 16 and we are taking steps to address the matter".
Speaking on Thursday, he said Blackwater had conducted 1873 operations outside the Green Zone up to September 18 this year and fired weapons on 56 of those missions. He gave no details but said they were reviewed to ensure procedures were followed.
|September 30th, 2007||#2|
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Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. - Voltaire 1694-1778
|September 30th, 2007||#4|
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I am not arguing the validity of the report just that I never like the term "unnamed source" as it tends to be a cover all term that implies legitimacy without necessarily being so.
|October 1st, 2007||#5|
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sorry! i gotta get in the habit of posting the story link too.
monty has provided it for me though...the stuff.co.nz link
|October 1st, 2007||#6|
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For The Record
Private military contractors might provide an alternative to conventional military intervention in humanitarian emergencies. If the so-called world community won’t intervene in a place like Darfur, maybe Blackwater will do so—for a price.
—Robert D. Kaplan From 'Outsourcing Conflict,' TheAtlantic.com, September 28, 2007
|October 1st, 2007||#7|
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|October 1st, 2007||#10|
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btw, Why don't you ask your government to pay for them?
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