Iraqi Official Calls Blackwater Deal 'Bad News'

PM's adviser warns Baghdad may challenge contract
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2008 4:24 PM CDT
Plainclothes contractors working for Blackwater USA take part in a firefight in Iraq in this 2004 file photo.   (AP Photo/Gervasio Sanchez,File)
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(Newser) – An Iraqi official called the renewal of Blackwater USA's contract "bad news" today, CNN reports. "I personally am not happy with this, especially because they have committed acts of aggression, killed Iraqis," said the adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. With many in Baghdad upset about it, he said he may press officials to contest the contract renewal.

The aide conceded that Washington can pick its contractors, “but Iraq should also have the right to ban certain contractors from operating on its territory." An Iraqi-US commission now oversees military contractors, and Baghdad is in talks with the US over rules of conduct in Iraq. But the FBI is still probing Iraq's judgment that Blackwater guards committed "premeditated murder" in killing 17 civilians last year.