Tuesday, October 23, 2007

State Department lawyers denied Blackwater's camera request in 2005

When Blackwater asked the State Department for on-board cameras for its diplomatic security vehicles in Iraq, State Department lawyers refused.

Blackwater says it had asked for the cameras on May 17, 2005, "in response to a false accusation against one of our teams in Baghdad." Blackwater employees searched for prices and models of various still and video cameras to be mounted on dashboards and in rear windows.

The Washington Times reports the story in its October 24 edition.

A State Department Diplomatic Security agent in Baghdad, David Brackins, agreed, but the next day, on May 18, State Department official Paul Nassen called Blackwater and told the company to "stand down" because lawyers had "legal issues" and would not allow the company to incorporate the cameras.

Blackwater is strictly bound under a 1,000-page contract to comply with all State Department specifications and wishes.

(Photo: Dash Hound 1 video camera, one of the models that Blackwater considered and that State Department lawyers denied in 2005.)

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