According to newly disclosed documents, a Blackwater official issued an implied death threat to a US State Department investigator assigned to monitor the firm.
By Barry Donegan
Ben Swann: June 30, 2014
As Iraq descends into civil war and as four former Blackwater employees stand trial in New York for alleged crimes related to a September 2007 civilian massacre in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, the State Department has released documents from a 2007 report by Deputy Division Chief Jean Richter containing explosive allegations against the private defense firm. According to The New York Times, Jean Richter was sent to Iraq in August of that year to investigate reports that the contracting firm Blackwater had failed in its duties to provide quality food and sanitation systems for US soldiers serving at a base in the war-torn nation.
Upon arrival, Richter asked Blackwater official Daniel Carroll, the project manager in charge of the camp suffering from inadequate facilities, why the firm had failed to respond to complaints regarding dining conditions that were affecting troop morale. Said Richter in his statement about the meeting, “In his response to my inquiries, Mr. Carroll claimed that the WPPS II Camp Baghdad was not technically Department of State property and therefore not under Chief of Mission (COM) Authority. Mr. Carroll accentuated this point by stating that he could ‘kill me’ at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq. A second individual present, Mr. Donald Thomas, then made a remark that compared the lawless working environment in Iraq to the ‘OK corral.’”
American embassy officials then took to Blackwater’s defense and ordered the State Department investigators to leave Iraq, complaining that the investigation had hampered the embassy’s relationship with the private contracting firm. Upon returning to the US, Jean Richter penned the highly-critical report which has just recently surfaced, noting the fact that the US government was losing control over Blackwater’s activities. Richter said in his statement, “The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves.” Going further, Richter said, “To me, it was immediately apparent that the Blackwater contractors believed that they were the de facto authority and acted accordingly, in an alarming manner.”
(read the full article at Ben Swann)
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