Just read between the lines...

Red Text is the real story hiding between the lines.
Violet Text is a notable quote from a specific blogger.
Blue Text is my own personal commentary.
Gold Text is a link to the original sources.

One word of advice I would offer to everyone who reads this blog;

....Each and every day, take just a moment of your precious time to pray for Peace and Justice.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blackwater hearings today!

Blackwater USA, the private security contractor under scrutiny for its role in a deadly Baghdad shootout last month, has fired 122 of its armed guards in Iraq since it started protecting U.S. diplomats there three years ago, congressional investigators said Monday.The firings, most frequently for weapons-related incidents, amount to about 15% of Blackwater's current workforce in Iraq. None of those fired has been subject to any legal proceedings or other sanction, the investigation found. The disclosures came in a memo about the investigation by aides to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills). He is chairman of the House oversight committee, which is holding a hearing on Blackwater today. Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL, is to appear. The detailed allegations, which the committee said were backed by thousands of documents, depict a security firm that almost routinely opens fire in Iraq's streets, occasionally attempts to cover up its transgressions and is frequently protected from censure and prosecution by its State Department overseers.The memo describes incidents in which Blackwater guards eagerly rushed to battles involving U.S. soldiers; plowed their armored trucks into civilian vehicles for no apparent reason; and left scenes of violence without assisting wounded civilians.In the 15-page memo, Waxman's staff says State Department officials ignored misconduct by Blackwater. And in one high-profile incident, the memo says, State officials were directly involved in making sure that a Blackwater employee who had been accused of killing an Iraqi guard while intoxicated was flown out of the country less than 36 hours after the Christmas Eve shooting.

Blackwater security contractors in Iraq have been involved in at least 195 "escalation of force" incidents since early 2005, including several previously unreported killings of Iraqi civilians, according to a new congressional account of State Department and company documents. In one of the killings, according to a State Department document, Blackwater personnel tried to cover up what had occurred and provided a false report. In another case, involving a Blackwater convoy's collision with 18 civilian vehicles, the firm accused its own personnel of lying about the event.

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