An FBI investigation has found that the Blackwater Security guards who killed 17 Iraqis in mid-September had broken laws and regulations on the use of deadly force in 14 of the shootings.
Fred McKay argues that Blackwater combines the two constituencies of Bush’s wing of the Republican Party, the privatization of Everything and Christian fundamentalism.
The State Department auditor whom Rep. Henry Waxman accuses of impeding investigations into Blackwater has now admitted that his own brother is on an advisory board to the firm, after having earlier denied it in his congressional testimony. He says he only just found out.
The House of Representatives attempted to put strings on Bush’s latest supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan, including a timetable for US military withdrawal. The bill they passed is expected to be defeated in the Senate and would in any case be vetoed by Bush. The Republican representatives are claiming things are just great now in Iraq (nearly 1000 persons a month are still being killed there even by the sketchy official statistics; as late as this September, the number of displaced persons increased by 16%; there is now active fighting on a new front, between Turkey and the Kurds holed up in northern Iraq; security is apparenlty collapsing in the port city of Basra; and Baghdad has in the past 10 months gone from 65% Shiite to 75% Shiite). Democrats warned against another 10 years of war at the cost of trillions of dollars.
Sunni Arabs are claiming that the US bombed and killed some members of a group that was actually on the side of the US. The American military maintained that its operation had only targeted “al-Qaeda.”
‘ISKANDARIYA – At least two people were killed and six wounded when a suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives infiltrated a meeting of Sunni Arab tribal sheikhs in Iskandariya, a town 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad . . .
DIYALA – Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in an explosion in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad on Tuesday, the U.S. military said.
MOSUL – A U.S. soldier was shot dead during operations near the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. military convoy killed two civilians and wounded three just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD – A car bomb targeting a police patrol killed one civilian and wounded six others, including three policemen, in northeastern Baghdad, police said. ‘