Wednesday, November 11, 2009

N.C.'s Blackwater busted for bribes?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Why in the hell do these crazy fools still work for our government?

In the aftermath of the 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad by operatives working for Blackwater, top company officials including then-president Gary Jackson "authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support," according to the New York Times. Seventeen Iraqis were killed and more than twenty others wounded in the shooting, prompting the Iraqi government to announce it would ban the company from Iraq with officials vowing to prosecute the shooters. Blackwater, however, remains in Iraq to this day.

According to the Times, "Four former Blackwater executives said in interviews that Gary Jackson, who was then the company president, had approved the bribes, and the money was sent from Amman, Jordan, where Blackwater maintains an operations hub, to a top manager in Iraq. The executives, though, said they did not know whether the cash was delivered to Iraqi officials or the identities of the potential recipients." The Times notes that the bribes "would have been illegal":

[A] federal grand jury in North Carolina, where Blackwater has its headquarters, has been conducting a lengthy investigation into the company. One of the former executives said that he has told federal prosecutors there about the plan to pay Iraqi officials to drop their inquiries into the Nisour Square incident. If Blackwater followed through, the company or its officials could face charges of obstruction of justice, and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans bribes to foreign officials.

Ten days after the Nisour shootings an FBI team arrived in Baghdad to begin a criminal investigation. If Blackwater officials bribed or attempted to bribe Iraqi officials that would have amounted to tampering with the investigation. Blackwater and its owner, Erik Prince, are also being sued by the Iraqi victims of that shooting in civil court in the United States. On Tuesday, a settlement in that case fell through and its future course remains unclear.

Read the rest of this article, from The Nation, here.

Further reading: GOP Rep Sue Myrick Won't Denounce Call For Backlash Against American Muslims

"Essentially a renegade force on the battlefield, something that was beyond the military's control."

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