Blackwater personnel escorting Paul Bremer, an American civil administrator, upon his arrival in Ramadi, Iraq, in March 2004. [Reuters]
Under the world's most boring headline, the New York Times published a bizarre scoop by reporter James Risen this weekend. Did you read it?
If you didn't, read it now. It's an insane story about Blackwater (renamed "Xe Services" in 2009, and "Academi" in 2011) that contains bad guys, slightly less bad guys, hubris, sociopaths, slain innocents, a dedicated detective duo, and billions of your taxpayer dollars.
Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.
"Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater" [seriously, could they have cooked up a more dull headline for this insane report?/NYT/HT:Trevor Timm]
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