Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blackwater CEO: "We will not let our people be taken by Iraqis"

In an interview with the far-right propaganda rag the Moonie Washington Times, Blackwater CEO Erik Prince (of Darkness) defiantly insisted that he will not allow his thugs to be held accountable by Iraqi authorities for murderous rampages that have left scores of Iraqi civilians dead.

"We will not let our people be taken by the Iraqis," Mr. Prince told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. At least 17 of 20 Blackwater guards being investigated for their roles in a Sept. 16 shooting incident are still in a secure compound in Baghdad's Green Zone and carrying out limited duties.

Two or three others have been allowed by the State Department to leave the country as part of their scheduled rotation out of Iraq and are expected to return.

"In an ideal sense, if there was wrongdoing, there could be a trial brought in the Iraqi court system. But that would imply that there is a valid Iraqi court system where Westerners could get a fair trial. That is not the case right now," said Mr. Prince.

Mr. Prince also expressed his disappointment that the State Department has not come to the company's defense, even though it has never lost a State Department client in years of protecting them.

"For the last week and a half, we have heard nothing from the State Department," said Mr. Prince. "From their senior levels, their PR folks, we've heard nothing — radio silence.

"It is disappointing for us. We have performed to the line, letter and verse of their 1,000-page contract," he said. "Our guys take significant risk for them. They've taken a pounding these last three years."

This defiant posturing comes amid insistence by the Iraqi government that the mercenary outfit get the hell out of Iraq and cease operations in the country. Additionally, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is said to be pushing for a centralized authority over the private “security” companies operating in Iraq.

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