Monday, December 8, 2008

'Locals Support Embattled Blackwater Guard'

Support is pouring in from people who know the Blackwater security men accused of crimes while defending an American diplomat in Baghdad. One of the accused, former Marine Corporal Evan Liberty (pictured) of New Hampshire, is getting praise for his spirit of volunteerism, discipline and patriotism.

"I can't speak any higher of the guy," says Chris Buslovich, who enlisted in the Marines with Liberty eight years ago.

Buslovich tells Foster's Daily Democrat, the hometown newspaper of Liberty in New Hampshire, saying the Marine "wanted to do more" and underwent "grueling training" to be part of the Marines' elite security guard force to protect American embassies. According to Foster's Daily Democrat, "Liberty eventually did become a guard and served in security detachments for the US embassies in Egypt and Guatemala, where he earned numerous commendations."

In 2005, after leaving the Marines, Liberty signed up to train with Blackwater, a company that Buslovich calls the "Marine Corps of contractors."

"They're the best of the best," he says.

Are military vets who sign up with Blackwater driven by greed, as the critics allege? The paper reports that Buslovich says such a perception is wrong: "they risk their lives in dangerous places like Iraq to protect people they 'don't even know.'"

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