Blackwater Guards Keeping Iraq Jobs
Loss of contract means many guards will just change uniforms
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2009 5:17 AM CDT
Plainclothes contractors working for Blackwater USA take part in a firefight as Iraqi demonstrators advance on a facility being defended by US soldiers.   (AP Photo/Gervasio Sanchez)
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(Newser) – Blackwater is getting kicked out of Iraq but not all of its workers will be leaving with the shamed company, the New York Times reports. The Iraq government refused to renew the security firm's license after its guards were repeatedly accused of using excessive force but many, if not most, of its guards are expected to simply switch uniforms and work for Blackwater's replacement.

"They’re really all still there, and it’s back to business as usual," said a lawyer bringing a suit against Blackwater on behalf of several Iraqi civilians. Critics worry the holdovers will perpetuate the company's alleged culture of violence and impunity, but the US diplomats Blackwater was employed to protect say there's no viable alternative and that the guards’ rules of engagement have been tightened.