Gas Week

EWN Publishing

Mercenary Blackwater USA guards earn $US1,222 ($1,370) a day – six to nine times more than a regular US Army sergeant

Posted by gasweek on 10 October, 2007

Their mission was to protect “packages”, US diplomats and other high-ranking officials in Iraq. Blackwater USA — which has pocketed more than $US1 billion from US taxpayers since 2001 and pays armed guards $US1222 ($1370) a day — six to nine times more than a regular US Army sergeant.

Outside the law: A three-member panel determined that the guards sprayed Baghdad’s Nisoor Square with gunfire on September 16 without provocation, Iraq National Security Minister Sherwan al-Waili told reporters . But Blackwater personnel are highly unlikely to face trial in Baghdad. US private security firms in Iraq are immune from local Iraqi law because they are under contract to the US, mostly hired by the State Department

Loop holes galore: The Courier Mail,( 6/10/2007), p. 38 said according to Stefanie Balogh in New York 13 Iraqis were killed, not 11 as earlier disclosed. . Loopholes in US crimi­nal law also make it difficult to prosecute contractors.

A blood-stained nation: With a military stretched to breaking point fighting an unpopular war, the Bush Admin­istration increasingly relies on contractors to help wage war in Iraq and rebuild the blood-stained nation. The Wall Street Journal estimates there are about 180,000 contractors in Iraq who perform a variety of tasks, ranging from providing security and procuring supplies to working on reconstruction projects. The number of contractors profiting from the combat eclipses the roughly 160,000 US troops on the ground.

The Courier Mail, 6/10/2007, p. 38

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