Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Waxman vs Blackwater
Waxman: State Department ‘Acting As Blackwater’s Enabler’
In this morning’s House Oversight hearing, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) sharply criticized not only Blackwater USA, but also the State Department, which has authority over the contractor.
Waxman pointed to a Dec. 2006 incident, in which a drunken Blackwater contractor shot the guard of the Iraqi vice president:
The State Department advised Blackwater how much to pay the family to make the problem go away and then allowed the contractor to leave Iraq just 36 hours after the shooting. Incredibly, internal e-mails documented the debate over the size of the payment. The charge d’affaire recommended a $250,000 payment but this was cut to $15,000 because the diplomatic security service said Iraqis would try to get themselves killed for such a large payout.
Waxman noted that in light of such evidence, it’s hard “not come to the conclusion that the State Department is acting as Blackwater’s enabler.”
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