Blackwater, a company of mercenaries hired by the Bush Administration to fight in Iraq, has been identified by the Pentagon under Barack Obama as the likely recipient of a one billion dollar contract to train fighters for Hamid Karzai’s central government in Afghanistan. Blackwater, now operating under the name Xe, has a long history of fraud, violence against civilians and other misconduct.
On Wednesday, Congressman Moran strongly cautioned against the use of Xe for any new military projects. He explained, “Blackwater-Xe is synonymous with abuse, unprovoked violence, and a ‘shoot first’ attitude. Their personnel are directly responsible for killing dozens of innocent men, women, and children in Iraq. Clearly, they are not deserving of a U.S. contract to train the Afghan police. Hiring Xe may irreparably damage our efforts to work cooperatively with the Afghan people and will serve as a propaganda tool for our enemies. They will be seen as representing the American people, which they do not. Given Xe-Blackwater’s past performance, our government should not be doing business with Xe, and Secretary Gates should prevent this contract from going forward.”