Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Still they want the mercenaries OUT!

Even after the State Department said that it would place its own diplomatic security agents in all Blackwater convoys, mount video cameras in Blackwater vehicles and record all radio transmissions to ensure an "objective" record of any future incident of contractor use of force, Iraq is not satified.

Iraqi authorities want the U.S. government to sever all contracts in Iraq with Blackwater USA within six months. They also want the firm to pay $8 million in compensation to families of each of the 17 people killed when its guards sprayed a traffic circle with heavy machine gun fire last month.

The tone of the Iraqi report appears to signal further strains between the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the White House over the deaths in Nisoor Square — which have prompted a series of U.S. and Iraqi probes and raised questions over the use of private security contractors to guard U.S. diplomats and other officials.

Al-Maliki ordered the investigation by his defense minister and other top security and police officials on Sept. 22. The findings — which were translated from Arabic by AP — mark the most definitive Iraqi positions and contentions about the shootings last month.

To quote a friend, "This is not going away."

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