Senate Panel Announces Big Hearing on Blackwater’s Afghanistan Contract

By
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm

All it took was a) shots fired at Afghan civilians on a Kabul road; b) bribes to foreign officials that amount to hush money; c) credible accounts of unlicensed weapons shipping; d) secret raids alongside the CIA on suspected insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan; and of course e) heavy collaboration with the Joint Special Operations Command to attract some real Senate scrutiny of Blackwater, the much-renamed private security firm that according to its founder is a CIA cutout. The Senate Armed Services Committee just announced a hearing on “contracting in a counterinsurgency: an examination of the Blackwater-Paravant contract and the need for oversight.” It gets underway next Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 9:30 a.m. (Paravant is a Blackwater subsidiary working for the Defense Department in Afghanistan.)

As far as I’m aware, this is the first Senate hearing exclusively devoted to Blackwater. The previous big Blackwater hearing came before the House oversight committee in 2007, and it mainly resulted in forcing the State Department’s conflict-of-interest-laden inspector-general, Cookie Krongard, to resign in disgrace after misrepresenting his ties to the company before the panel.

From the looks of the witness list, there may be some real disclosures: Paravant’s ex-program manager, John R. Walker, is slated to testify, as is its ex-vice president Brian C. McCracken. So are a host of retired military officials, including the former head of the effort to train Afghan security forces, retired Col. Bradley Wakefield. A former Blackwater vice president for contracts, Fred Roitz, has been invited, but it’s unclear whether he’ll appear.

It’s worth pointing out that to the best of my knowledge, there was no Senate hearing devoted to scrutinizing Blackwater’s multi-million dollar contracts with the government after its guards shot and killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians in September 2007.

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42 Comments

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Sgt. Coldwar
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

They'll pay their way out of it with “Lobbyist Contributions” AKA BRIBERY.


Mark-Alan Lynch
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 8:12 am

It's about time. Perhaps Herr Cheney's boy-toy, Mr. Prince, will now face an accounting. Again, it's about time.


Hologram5
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 9:51 am

They've been ordered to leave Iraq, they are in danger of losing the contract in Afghanistan, they should never be allowed to work in the US again after what happened in Katrina. Google it, they and the national guard did some horrific things to the constitution in LA.


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Mark-Alan Lynch
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

It's about time. Perhaps Herr Cheney's boy-toy, Mr. Prince, will now face an accounting. Again, it's about time.


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Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

They've been ordered to leave Iraq, they are in danger of losing the contract in Afghanistan, they should never be allowed to work in the US again after what happened in Katrina. Google it, they and the national guard did some horrific things to the constitution in LA.


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Pingback posted February 19, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

[...] Senate panel announces big hearing on Blackwater’s Afghanistan contract (WI) [...]


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Pingback posted February 19, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

[...] read more about this visit “The Washington Independent” story on the topic by clicking here. No contracts for the stinkers! Something smells pretty strong about Blackwater Comments [...]


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Pingback posted February 23, 2010 @ 6:21 am

[...] "Senate Panel Announces Big Hearing on Blackwater’s Afghanistan Contract#," is by Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent (2/17/10). [...]


We Are Change Colorado Springs » Blog Archive » Blackwater Took Hundreds of Guns From U.S. Military using the cover name “Eric Cartman” inspired by the TV show South Park
Pingback posted February 24, 2010 @ 9:02 am

[...] “In the fight against the Taliban, the perception that the Afghans have of us is critical,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the committee, told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “It’s clear to me that if we’re going to win that struggle, we need to know that contractor personnel are adequately screened, they’re adequately supervised and they’re adequately held accountable.” Levin will hold a hearing on Blackwater’s Afghanistan contracts Wednesday morning. [...]


Blackwater Took Hundreds of Guns From U.S. Military, Afghan Police « Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy
Pingback posted February 24, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

[...] “In the fight against the Taliban, the perception that the Afghans have of us is critical,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the committee, told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “It’s clear to me that if we’re going to win that struggle, we need to know that contractor personnel are adequately screened, they’re adequately supervised and they’re adequately held accountable.” Levin will hold a hearing on Blackwater’s Afghanistan contracts Wednesday morning. [...]


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