Does anyone still wonder why they hate us and why this "war" will never be a success, by anyones definition?
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. security contractor Blackwater has been involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq since 2005 and, in eight of 10 cases, their forces fired first, a leading U.S. lawmaker said on Monday.
State Department contractor Blackwater, under investigation for the shooting deaths of 11 Iraqis on September 16, will answer questions about that incident and its performance in Iraq at a Congressional hearing on Tuesday.
Senior State Department officials will also be grilled by the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examining whether the growing use of military contractors undermines U.S. efforts in Iraq.
Committee chair Rep. Henry Waxman, a vocal critic of the Iraq war, released details from Blackwater's own reports of multiple incidents involving Iraqi casualties. The memorandum also slammed the State Department's oversight of the company.
It listed 195 shooting incidents from the start of 2005 until September 12 of this year, an average of 1.4 per week. Of those, there were 16 Iraqi casualties and 162 cases with property damage, the California Democrat said.
"In 32 of those incidents, Blackwater were returning fire after an attack while on 163 occasions (84 percent of the shooting incidents), Blackwater personnel were the first to fire," Waxman said.
State Department rules say Blackwater's actions should be defensive rather than offensive.
Blackwater, which has been paid a little over $1 billion by the U.S. government since 2001, declined to comment on Waxman's memorandum. Continued...
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.