Friday, May 16, 2008

State Department Installs Cameras on Blackwater Vehicles - Three Years Late

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently ordered federal agents accompanying Blackwater security convoys to install video cameras in the contractor's vehicles. Some news outlets are trying to pretend that this is news. And in a sense, it is. But not in the way you think.

Three years ago Blackwater requested cameras for its vehicles, a request the State Department refused (as this blog has previously pointed out). Blackwater trusts the conduct of its employees enough that it wanted a record of all their actions, believing that the video record would bear them out in the case of any incidents.

Well, the boys at State didn't think the cameras would be necessary and now - after the events of 16 September in Nisoor Square - we're left wishing those cameras had been there. Don't blame Blackwater; blame the State Department.

Secretary Rice, way to do the right thing - three years late.

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