The Mercenary Firm Formerly Known as ‘Blackwater’ Revealed

‘Gentlemen, We Shot a Judge’ and Other Tales of Blackwater, DynCorp, and Triple Canopy’s Rampage Through Iraq

Every time a Blackwater centurion discharged his weapon in Iraq, the company filed a written report with the U.S. State Department. Blackwater shot Iraq to shit. Here are the reports.

Blackwater, the private mercenary firm that became synonymous with Bush-era war profiteering and reckless combat-tourism, announced yesterday that it has changed its name to Academi (after a previous incarnation as Xe Services) in a bid to distance itself from its history of wanton lawlessness. We’ve obtained a 4,500-page record of that history in the form of State Department incident reports documenting every time a Blackwater guard shot at an Iraqi between 2005 and 2007.

We got them in response to a Freedom of Information Act request we filed four years ago. They come from the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which was charged with overseeing and monitoring the contractors hired by State to secure its diplomats and other VIPs in the war zone. While firms like DynCorp and Triple Canopy make frequent appearances, the reports are dominated by Blackwater, which was paid roughly $1 billion between 2004 and 2009 to provide “worldwide protective services” for State Department personnel. (It continues to surreptitiously weave its tentacles into various government contracts; hence the name changes.)

In Iraq, Blackwater’s “protective services” consisted in large part of preemptively shooting any car that drove near its convoys. Page after page of the reports feature drivers (and occasionally boat pilots) who were fired upon simply because they drove “aggressively,” attempted to pass, or didn’t heed warnings to keep their distance. There was no routine mechanism for following up…

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Bryce Shonka is Liberty Voice's new Editor and also serves as the Deputy Director for Tenth Amendment Center. He is happy to be producing content for a new audience and from a new place (Seattle, WA).

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