Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blackwater black eye

The more we learn about the conduct of Blackwater USA and other private contractors hired by the U.S. government to protect diplomats in Iraq, the worse it gets. The New York Times reported today that the State Department has opened its third review of the Blackwater following the Sept. 16 shooting incident that outraged the Iraqi government. Turns out the security company's guards have opened fire 56 times this year alone, killing perhaps dozens of civilians in Baghdad. The Iraqi government was enraged by the shootings and sought to kick Blackwater out of the country, but the United States apparently got the Iraqis to cool their rhetoric. The United States has long protected these security contractors but it's long past time for the legal immunity these companies have enjoyed since the days of the provisional government to be eliminated and for some of these cowboys to be brought up on criminal charges. And while we're doing that, let's have a public discussion about whether our government should be in the business of hiring outside companies to do the security work that our tens of thousands of soldiers should be doing.

1 comment:

eclaire said...

Who chose Blackwater in the first place? Was it done just as a political favor? Doesn't the public have a right to know?