Friday, October 5, 2007

Positive press amid the feeding frenzy

While the press piles on Blackwater, usually ignoring or minimizing the company's unmatched accomplishments in Iraq, we find some bright spots in the media reporting and commentary. They include:

Bob Orr, "Blackwater: Who are these guys?" CBS News, October 5. Weighing what Blackwater's detractors and supporters say, Bob Orr of CBS News (pictured) writes, "Blackwater is effective. No Blackwater client has ever been killed. And the fact is there aren’t enough soldiers to do the jobs taken on by Blackwater and other security contractors. Add to that Blackwater’s intense training program and the fact that its employees are not amateurs – most come from elite military commando units, like Delta Force and Navy SEALS."

Even a Blackwater arch-critic, bestselling author of a book on the company, concedes a positive word. As Orr reports on CBS Evening News, "Some on Capitol Hill want Blackwater to be reined in. But, Jeremy Scahill, who wrote a book on the rise of Blackwater, says it's doing the jobs an already-stretched military can't handle. 'It's become one of the most powerful private actors in the so-called war on terror,' Scahill said."

Oliver North, "Henry Waxman should suspend vendetta against Blackwater," Fox News, October 4.

"Blackwater credited with diplomatic rescue,", October 4. "Accused of cowboy tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan, the subject of Congressional hearings and the most despised private US security firm operating in American theaters of operations, Blackwater USA demonstrated Wednesday that even under fire, it can still get it right," the aviation industry news service reports.

"Witness the extraction of the critically wounded Polish ambassador to Iraq, blasted along with a member of his staff by a roadside bomb in downtown Baghdad.

"Gen. Edward Pietrzyk, Poland's ambassador to Baghdad, was suffered burns to his head, arms and hands as well as wounds to his leg in a blast that killed one of his employees and an Iraqi civilian. He and the other wounded members of his party were airlifted from the bomb site by helicopters operated by Blackwater USA."

"CBS News reports Blackwater's helos landed in the narrow street and picked up all the wounded, even though the contractor wasn't involved in protecting the Polish convoy. In spite of the effort, Blackwater is still under heavy fire from Iraqi government officials."

Greg Pollowitz, "Blackwater in the news, rescuing Polish ambassador from a horrific car bombing," National Review Online, October 3. Caption on article: "Underreported news."

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