State Department & Private Mercenaries

December 16, 2008 at 11:35 am | Posted in State Department | Leave a comment
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Justin Elliot over at TPM asks a good question:

“Will Hillary Follow Through On Campaign Pledge To Ban ‘Private Mercenaries’?”

Mr. Elliott is awaiting answer from the Obama transition office as to their plans. He provides this information:

Between 2003 and 2007, the State Department awarded contracts for security and non-security work in Iraq totaling a massive $4 billion, according to an August report (pdf) by the Congressional Budget Office. Six thousand seven hundred contractors are working in Iraq for the State Department – about 40 percent of whom work on security, and another 25 percent of whom are classified as “police and correction advisers,” the report found. Of the total 6,700 contractors, only a third are U.S. citizens, and nearly half are citizens of neither U.S. citizens nor “local nationals.”

A congressional investigation found that private State Department security contractors from Blackwater alone were involved in nearly 200 “escalation of force” incidents between 2005 and 2007, including multiple killings of Iraqi civilians.

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