Rice Orders Blackwater Chaperones

Convoys will also be monitored with video cameras, radio logs
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2007 12:55 PM CDT
Blackwater security contractors guard U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as he arrives at a community sports center in Baghdad, Iraq, in a Saturday, March 25, 2006 photo. The official Iraqi investigation...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Condoleezza Rice has ordered all private security convoys in Iraq to be accompanied by at least one US diplomatic security agent. The Secretary of State acted on an internal review sparked by the recent Blackwater shooting incident that left 17 civilians dead. Contractors will also be monitored by video cameras in vehicles and recording of radio communications, the AP reports. The new rules are meant to ensure “a management feedback loop,” said a State spokesman.

Government security agents had previously chaperoned US convoys only on an ad hoc basis. An ongoing State Department investigation is dissecting 56 shooting incidents this year involving Blackwater personnel. Rice has brought in outside help for the review, including retired diplomats and NATO commanders. (Read more Condoleezza Rice stories.)