Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Audit Proves Blackwater Critics are Wrong Again

An audit by the city of San Diego has proven that critics of Blackwater are wrong, and that the company honestly and fairly represented itself when it applied for permits to build an indoor firearms training range for the US Navy.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that opponents of the company tried to stop Blackwater from building the range after activists agitated against development of an outdoor training facility.

The opponents alleged - falsely - that Blackwater had misrepresented itself when applying for permits. Those false accusations led San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders (pictured) to try to prevent the company from executing its training contract with the US Navy and keep the facility from opening.

According to the Union-Tribune, Mayor Sanders requested an audit of the company's permit application on May 5, and tried to block Blackwater from opening the Navy training facility on May 19. Blackwater appealed to a federal court, which ruled in its favor and blocked San Diego from obstructing the company. The city's internal auditor, Eduardo Luna, stated in a report last week that "we determined that Blackwater did not misrepresent their identity."

“I think the auditor's report is clear,” said Blackwater VP Brian Bonfiglio. “It basically exonerated us from being misleading or intentionally doing anything inappropriately or incorrectly.”

The next round in federal court is June 16, but the judge, according to the Union-Tribune, "has already indicated that Blackwater is likely to prevail."
"Peace" groups opposed to a US victory in Iraq have organized the local anti-Blackwater campaign.

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