by David Phinney
Saturday August 24th 2019

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Blackwater’s Christmas Mystery

When Rep. Henry Waxman bangs the gavel and opens hearings on Blackwater’s security operations in Iraq Wednesday, let’s hope the California Democratic chairman of the House Government Reform Committee asks about the rumor of a murder in the Green Zone on Christmas Eve:
The rumor began this way via email:

“On [Christmas] eve (2006) here in the Green Zone a Blackwater employee got into a scuffle with an Iraqi personal guard that was guarding a judge and shot him ten times and killed him. The Blackwater employee was drunk. Why did he have his weapon on him? He has been whisked out of Iraq as fast as possible so the local authorities could not get a hold of him.
Blackwater is trying to keep it all hush-hush so the media doesn’t find out about it and dirty their already dirty reputation. Now all the Blackwater employees are pissed off cause they have installed a no alcohol ban on all Blackwater employees.”

Is this true? Don’t know. Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell is silent on the question.
Reporter Bill Sizemore with Virginia-Pilot didn’t get anywhere with Tyrrell either. But he did get State Department confirmation a month ago that a civilian U.S. contractor shot and killed an Iraqi security officer.
That’s all Sizemore could get out of State. The US embassy spokesman in Baghdad declined to say what company was involved, citing the U.S. Privacy Act. However, two independent sources told The Virginian-Pilot that the alleged killer worked for Blackwater. The high-profile security company does a multi-million business providing security to U.S. diplomatic staff in Iraq under a State Department contract.
Given Blackwater’s business with the State Department, are we going to hear that Blackwater, by extension, enjoys diplomatic immunity? Will Blackwater comment on the incident while under oath?
Stay tuned, because a long list of private security shootings and related problems in Iraq have been swept under the rug. Those incidents should be thoroughly investigated.
So far, not one private security contractor in the course of four years has been publicly charged with any criminal wrongdoing in Iraq.

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