security contractors

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Blackwater Settles Iraqi Civil Suits

But two former contractors arrested in Afghanistan

(Newser) - Blackwater—now known as Xe—has settled a group of civil lawsuits with Iraqis that accused the firm of creating a cowboy culture that led to civilian deaths. The firm will pay $30,000 to injured victims and $100,000 to families of people who died in a number of...

Ships Take Up Arms Against Pirates
 Ships Take Up Arms 
 Against Pirates 

Ships Take Up Arms Against Pirates

Maritime tradition fades amid rise in attacks

(Newser) - The maritime tradition of commercial shipping going unarmed is being abandoned in the face of the threat from Somali pirates. Shipping firms are hiring teams of guards—from $25,000 up—for the passage through the Gulf of Aden. Insurers are offering steep discounts to ships packing heat and security...

Blackwater Waging 'Secret War' in Pakistan

Mercenaries doing CIA dirty work, plotting killings

(Newser) - An elite team of Blackwater operatives have been doing the CIA's dirty work in Pakistan, a Nation investigation finds. The team plans operations, including "snatch-and-grab" assassinations and drone strikes from a secret base in Karachi run by US Joint Special Operations Command, according to a senior source with direct...

Taliban Is Paid to Protect US Supply Convoys
 Taliban Is Paid to Protect 
 US Supply Convoys 

Taliban Is Paid to Protect US Supply Convoys

US military funding Taliban through contractors

(Newser) - The Taliban is getting a big chunk of its financing by protecting supply convoys to the American military. Security contractors paid by the US to bring supplies into Afghanistan pay huge amounts of protection money to warlords and insurgents, an investigation by the Nation has discovered. Pentagon officials are aware...

Boosted US Presence Rankles Pakistan

Military fears too many strings are attached to new $7.5 billion in aid

(Newser) - The $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan recently approved by the Senate appears to have triggered more suspicion than goodwill. Many in Pakistan, especially in the military, object that the conditions tied to the aid—which include keeping the military out of politics—are an unacceptable encroachment on national...

Contractor Bought Guns on Black Market: Ex-Employees

Triple Canopy accused of funding insurgents

(Newser) - Triple Canopy, the company that succeeded Blackwater as the top US security contractor in Iraq, bought its weapons on Iraq’s black market, former employees allege in court documents obtained by ProPublica. “We’re spending a lot of money on these rifles, millions of dollars—where do you think...

Kabul Embassy Whistleblower Sues Security Firm

Manager says he was forced out after trying to stop embassy guards visiting brothels

(Newser) - A former manager who says he tried to lift the lid on bad behavior by guards at the US Embassy in Kabul is suing security contractor ArmorGroup, CNN reports. James Gordon says he was forced out of his job after asking the company and the State Department to investigate guards'...

Blackwater Founder Linked to Investigators' Murders

(Newser) - Two former Blackwater employees accused company founder and CEO Erik Prince of murder in statements filed in federal court this week, the Nation reports. The former guards, including an ex-Marine, say Prince may have either killed or facilitated the killing of operatives probing the security contractor's Iraq operations. The investigators...

Pentagon Drops Ball on Contractor Oversight: Report

Says tens of billions in contracts lack decent US supervision

(Newser) - Though US defense contracting has reached “unprecedented proportions” in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department isn’t adequately monitoring the contracts, according to an independent watchdog. A report to be presented to Congress tomorrow says the government lacks central records showing the identities, activities, and pay of some 240,...

Blackwater's Iraq Contract Ends

Virginia firm takes over security duties

(Newser) - Blackwater’s turbulent term in Iraq ends today with the expiration of its contract, CNN reports. The US opted not to renew the firm’s security services deal in January after Iraqi officials denied it a renewed operating license in the wake of a 2007 shooting in a public square....

Blackwater Guards Keeping Iraq Jobs

Loss of contract means many guards will just change uniforms

(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,...

Blackwater Ditches Name, Attempts to Change Image

Firm renames itself Xe; will focus on training and logistics support

(Newser) - Private security firm Blackwater Worldwide is hoping to shed some of the controversy that has dogged it since its bloody tenure in Iraq by renaming itself Xe (pronounced “Zee”), the AP reports. Besides the name change, the firm has altered the focus of its business from contracting out...

US Flushes Blackwater Contract
US Flushes Blackwater Contract

US Flushes Blackwater Contract

State Dept. calls renewal 'moot' after Iraq denies operating license

(Newser) - The State Department said Friday it will not renew Blackwater's contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq when it expires in May. A department spokeswoman said the contract will lapse because of the Iraqi government's decision to deny Blackwater a license to operate, amid lingering outrage over a 2007 shooting...

Iraq Denies Blackwater Contract
 Iraq Denies Blackwater Contract 

Iraq Denies Blackwater Contract

Official: 'They have a bad history'

(Newser) - The Iraqi government has refused to grant Blackwater a license to continue its security work in the country, the New York Times reports. The controversial firm probably won’t exit the country at least until spring, as the US and Iraq work on rules for private contractors. “There are...

Obama Picks CIA Veteran as Terror Adviser

Controversial Brennan backs harsh tactics, has contractor ties

(Newser) - The rumors are true: Barack Obama has picked John O. Brennan as his top counterterrorism adviser, the Washington Post reports, just six weeks after Brennan was forced to back out of the hunt for the CIA directorship. Brennan has made public statements about controversial CIA tactics such as extraordinary rendition—...

Fire Blackwater: State Dept. Panel

Security firm's contract should not be renewed, advisory group says

(Newser) - The US military should stop using contractors from Blackwater Worldwide, concludes a report by a State Department advisory panel, obtained by the AP. In light of numerous allegations of violent misconduct, Blackwater’s contract to defend American diplomats should not be renewed when it expires next year, the panel recommends....

Tired of Pirate Attacks? Time to Call Blackwater

US forces aren't coming, Shippers need to hire their own army

(Newser) - Somali hijackers have free rein around the Horn of Africa, and neither the US nor any other nation has a prayer of stopping them with their ineffectual patrols. What to do? Call in the troops—or, more precisely, the fomer troops, writes Peter Hannaford in the American Spectator. Namely, Blackwater....

Facing Charges, 5 Blackwater Guards to Surrender

Sixth working on plea in '07 Baghdad massacre

(Newser) - Five ex-Blackwater security guards will surrender to the FBI tomorrow after indictments in a 2007 shooting that killed 17 Iraqis, CNN reports. A sixth is negotiating a plea. Blackwater says its former workers were responding to an attack, but an Iraqi probe called the incident “premeditated murder.” The...

Contractors in Iraq Could Be Charged for Old Incidents

Charges Could Loom for Contractors in Old Iraq Disputes

(Newser) - Iraq may be able to prosecute US contractors for misdeeds committed when they were thought to be operating under American immunity, McClatchy reports. The new security pact doesn’t block such retroactive legal action, news that came as a surprise to Blackwater, whose contractors have been involved in the most...

Blackwater Faces Hefty Fine for Iraq Gun Violations

Contractor shipped firearms without permit; some may now be on black market

(Newser) - The government will hit security firm Blackwater USA with a multimillion-dollar fine for shipping hundreds of unauthorized guns to Iraq, McClatchy reports. A lengthy State Department investigation has concluded that the security contractor shipped some 900 weapons to the country—some of which likely wound up on the black market—...

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