Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blackwater Often Misidentified In Iraq

"There’s 170-some security companies in Iraq," Blackwater founder Erik Prince told the Military Times. "Since... we’ve protected the most al Qaida-worthy targets, we would constantly get calls, even now, even today, we get calls that Blackwater guys were involved in a shooting or Blackwater guys were captured or killed here or there, and when we go and investigate, and they weren’t within 100 miles of that because we know where each of the vehicles are."

How does Blackwater know their men are rarely involved in these "Blackwater" incidents? "We track them with Blue Force Tracker so we know what they’re doing and what they’re not doing."

Prince explains:

Blackwater kind of became the Xerox or the Kleenex brand name for the industry, [so] that any armed Americans in a Suburban or an SUV were “Blackwater guys.” Well, no, we only have a total of 1,000 people in Iraq, and only 600 or so of those would be protective folks and the rest would be gate guards, logisticians, mechanics for the helicopters, air crews — that kind of thing.

Blackwater guards? Or some other contractor? It's not always easy to tell.

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