Banned Blackwater Still Working in Iraq

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2009 8:40 PM CDT
A Blackwater MD-530F flies over the Republican Palace in Baghdad.   (Wikipedia)
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(Newser) – Washington refused to renew Blackwater's contracts in Iraq, and Baghdad told the company to get out—but that doesn't mean it's actually left, the AP reports. The private mercenary firm, now called Xe, still runs ground operations and provides air security for US convoys, and may continue doing so until as late as September.

Two years after a gunfight that killed 17 civilians, Iraqi authorities banned the company and the State Department said it wouldn't renew Blackwater's contracts, but some of the contracts, it turns out, don't expire until September. After new contracts are signed, Xe employees could transfer to the winning bidder. "The logical place to start looking" for workers will be among "those who are already there," says one analyst.