Blackwater Chairman pleads innocence of his men
Blackwater Chairman, Erik Prince, said he has evidence that his men were fired on first in the September 16th shootout that ended with 17 dead Iraqi civilians.
The Iraqi government investigated the incident and found that the mercenary group fired without provocation. The Iraqi government demanded that the US cut ties with Blackwater and order that the organization pays $8 million to each of the victims families.
This incident has brought the reality of the US government's use of private security groups to help compensate for the lack of troops in Iraq to the eyes of the public A study by the Brookings Institution found that there are more military contractors in Iraq than military personnel. The report says that the use of these contractors has turned into an "addiction" of this administration.
A Blackwater employee killed an Iraqi vice president's bodyguard while drunk, and the State Department helped sneak the employee out of Iraq to keep things quiet.