Yesterday the State and Defense Departments announced
the contours of a new "understanding" for oversight of State's security contractors in Iraq. The gist: State will have to inform military commanders of the doings of contractor-guarded convoys, and if there's obvious wrongdoing, the U.S. embassy and the military command will seek prosecution. (Of course, it's not clear what law would apply, but anyway.)
All this arose because of Blackwater's September shootings of Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square. Not surprisingly, the company -- which is being sued
by the victims' families, and might even (but probably won't) face criminal charges
stemming from an ongoing FBI probe -- is embracing
the State-Defense pact:
Blackwater fully supports the memorandum of agreement signed today by the Department of State and the Department of Defense regarding private security companies operating in Iraq on behalf of the US Government. Blackwater has always supported the identification of contractor standards and clear rules of accountability. Increased coordination and constant review of procedures will provide even better value to the Government. Blackwater looks forward to complying with new rules as we continue to serve the United States Government.