Remember our old Iraq War military contractor friend Blackwater (now the cryptic "Xe") and founder Erik Prince? Turns out this awful bunch of mercenaries weren't just immoral, they liked to push our government around too with death threats against anyone investigating them. TPM's Josh Marshall recounts the NY Times investigation:
Over the course of the last decade, Blackwater became a notorious symbol of military contracting run amok, with price-gouging, reckless behavior and your occasional atrocity. So it's hard to imagine anything coming out that would genuinely shock anyone. Until this.Nice guys, huh. Would be a shame if anything happened to your State Department investigation team, right?
According to documents reviewed by The New York Times, State Department investigator had already begun probing Blackwater a short time before the infamous Nisour Square shooting in 2007. But the probe broke down when Blackwater's top guy in Iraq threatened to kill the lead investigator, suggesting, not improbably, that amid the anarchy of Iraq it could be easily covered up as just another moment of sectarian violence or a terrorist attack.
Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.
American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports.
Nobody was going to mess with these guys, and they probably got away with all kids of truly horrific if not criminal acts for years in Iraq. And the American people paid them billions to do it. Who in the Bush administration would ever question Blackwater about a dead US civilian sent to a war zone to poke around where they shouldn't be?
It's not like anything happens to these guys even if people do ask questions.