The Iraqis don't want them, the FBI calls them murderers and American homeowners are trying to move them out of their backyard. Only the Bush Administration keeps giving Blackwater love--and contracts.
In the latest misadventures of Mercenaries-R-Us, it took an order from a federal judge last week to force San Diego's mayor to let Blackwater open its new training facility after 200 residents led by a congressman protested “a black mark on American democracy.”
Since gunning down 17 Iraqis last September, Blackwater has reportedly signed more than $144 million in contracts with the State Department for “protective services” in Iraq and Afghanistan and been awarded millions more in contracts from the Coast Guard, the Navy and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
All this comes months after the FBI found that at least 14 of the Baghdad shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for Iraq security contractors, and the Justice Department is investigating charges that Blackwater employees sold US arms on the black market that ended up in the hands of terrorists.
Nonetheless, in April, the State Department renewed Blackwater's contract to provide security, a move Prime Minister al-Maliki adviser Sami al-Askari called "bad news...because they have committed acts of aggression, killed Iraqis, and this has not been resolved yet positively for families of victims."
Blackwater is so deeply entrenched that even Barack Obama has not "ruled out" their continued involvement in Iraq. Starting with hefty contributions to Bush's campaigns by its founder, the company has privatized the war with $1 billion of mayhem--and counting.