Obama hires Blackwater, again

State Dept. becomes the latest Obama agency to hire the notorious firm, this time for part of $10 billion contract

By Justin Elliott
October 1, 2010 7:53PM (UTC)
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Plainclothes contractors working for Blackwater USA take part in a firefight on Sunday, April 4, 2004 in the Iraqi city of Najaf

Spencer Ackerman at Wired reports:

Never mind the dead civilians. Forget about the stolen guns. Get over the murder arrests, the fraud allegations, and the accusations of guards pumping themselves up with steroids and cocaine. Through a “joint venture,” the notorious private security firm Blackwater has won a piece of a five-year State Department contract worth up to $10 billion, Danger Room has learned.

The company won the contract under one of its many alternate names, "International Development Solutions." The contract is to protect embassies around the world.

It's worth repeating that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her presidential campaign, promised to ban Blackwater from Iraq, going so far as to say:


For five years their behavior and lack of supervision and accountability have often eroded our credibility, endangered U.S. and Iraqi lives and undermined our mission.

Obama never made a similar promise.

This new State contract is hardly the first time Blackwater will be working for the Obama Administration. According to various reports, the company has been awarded an $100 million contract for the CIA in Afghanistan, another State contract to protect consulates in Afghanistan, and a Defense Department contract to do training and even "drug interdiction" work in Afghanistan.

So in case it wasn't already obvious, it's now safe to say Blackwater has been embraced by both Democrats and Republicans and will play a major role in U.S. foreign policy for years to come.

Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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