Thursday, October 25, 2007

ABC NEWS Exclusive: State Dept. E-Mails Say Blackwater Hurting U.S. in Iraq


Internal State Department e-mails, obtained by the Blotter on, show top officials were extensively briefed about repeated incidents of Blackwater security guards killing innocent civilians more than two years ago.

It was only in the last month that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took action to review the activities of Blackwater and other private security companies in Iraq.

The assistant secretary of state who oversaw Blackwater and other contractors, Richard Griffin, resigned yesterday in the wake of a critical internal review.

Yet, the e-mails show that State Department officials had extensive knowledge of a growing problem in the summer of 2005, and complained about a lack of a compensation program for civilian victims.

"Obviously it is not pleasant meeting with these individuals with nothing more to offer than apologies, condolences and vague promises," wrote a State Department security officer based in al Hillah, Michael Bishop, to his superiors at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. ..........

Read the full text of the e-mail.

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