State Dept. Stonewalls Blackwater Investigation
House panel: Firm ordered not to disclose information without White House OK
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2007 10:54 AM CDT
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-SD, right, references quote about Blackwater on a chart at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing entitled "Abuses in Private Security and Reconstruction Contracting in Iraq   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Documents revealed yesterday show that the State Department ordered Blackwater USA, the private security firm accused of shooting Iraqi civilians last week, not to disclose information about its Iraq operations without White House approval. The State Department order has interfered with a congressional probe into Blackwater, angering the reps investigating the security firm, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In a letter to Condoleeza Rice, House panel chair Henry Waxman called the blockage of information "extraordinary," and argued that "Congress has the constitutional prerogative to examine the impacts of corruption." Waxman's letter seemed to soften the State Department, which called the situation a "misunderstanding" and agreed yesterday to allow Blackwater to turn over unclassified documents.