Blackwater Accused of Bribing Iraqi Officials

The New York Times reports:

Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.

Blackwater approved the cash payments in December 2007, the officials said, as protests over the deadly shootings in Nisour Square stoked long-simmering anger inside Iraq about reckless practices by the security company’s employees. American and Iraqi investigators had already concluded that the shootings were unjustified, top Iraqi officials were calling for Blackwater’s ouster from the country and company officials feared that Blackwater might be refused an operating license it would need to retain its contracts with the State Department and private clients, worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Four former Blackwater executives said in interviews that Gary Jackson, who was then the company’s 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.

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    how utterly unshocking,
    blackwater is what you get when you play up all the vices of the military, arrogance, cruelty, cockyness and eliminate all of it's virtues Integrity, service, honour, sacrifice. cheap gangsters pretending to be soldiers.

  • Joey

    Nothing new. These pigs have lobbyists and lots of money, something American citizens do not have. Your vote only gets the person who will be swayed into office. Your vote no longer matters when it comes down to the creation of legislation that prevents this crap from happening. We are a Plutocracy in a Democracy's clothing. All I really hope is that these people have what is coming to them.