Raytheon: It’s on Blackwater to Substantiate Fraud Accusation

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing on Blackwater/Paravant’s subcontract with Raytheon and the Army to train Afghan security forces has just ended, but not before Blackwater pushed all the blame onto Raytheon.

Fred Roitz, Blackwater’s top contract compliance officer, told the panel that Raytheon instructed Blackwater to hide its shell company Paravant’s affiliation with Blackwater. “Raytheon specifically knew who in fact they were contracting with,” Roitz told Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). “They did not want to name Blackwater” to the Army. But Roitz said he didn’t know who at Raytheon issued that instruction.

So I called John Kasle, Raytheon’s senior corporate spokesman. As it turned out, he’d been monitoring the hearing. “We point back to Fred Roitz. He has promised to get back to the committee” with that information, Kasle said. “He’s made this claim; it’s up to him to substantiate it.

When pressed about whether Raytheon actually did instruct “Paravant” to hide its affiliation with Blackwater, Kasle didn’t deny it, simply saying instead, “We’re not going to make a comment.” I suggested to him that the committee would most likely follow up for a direct response to the allegation — Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) stated flatly, “Clearly, Raytheon failed overseeing this contract” — but Kasle held his ground. “We’ll wait for the committee” to contact Raytheon before replying, he said. “Mr. Roitz said he didn’t know who asked him [to hide Paravant's ties to Blackwater]; I would suggest that’s the thread to follow. He’s promised to come back to the committee with more information.”

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