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The Washington Post has published an article about The Iraqi government denying a new license to Blackwater Worldwide.  Blackwater has had a very profitable stay in Iraq, receiving more than $1 billion since 2000.  Of course, they have also received a lot of bad publicity because of the actions of their employees in Iraq. In fact, the primary reason given for declining to issue the new license is the "alleged" excessive force used by Blackwater while protecting American diplomats.
More after the jump . . .

I found the article via Buzzflash, here is the link to that site:
http://www.buzzflash.net/...
Washington Post Link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
(There are quite a few more details in the article that are not included in the diary.)

Surprisingly,

Blackwater employees who have not been accused of improper conduct will be allowed to continue working as private security contractors in Iraq if they switch employers, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.

Iraq's Interior Ministry conveyed its decision to U.S. officials in Baghdad on Friday, in one of the boldest moves the government has made since the Jan. 1 implementation of a security agreement with the United States that sharply curbed American power in Iraq.

The Blackwater spokesperson was not aware of the decision at the time of the Washington Post article.

There is not a definite timeline for the departure of Blackwater as per this information:

The officials said Blackwater must leave the country as soon as a joint Iraqi-U.S. committee finishes drawing up guidelines for private contractors under the security agreement. It is unclear how long that will take. Blackwater employees and other U.S. contractors had been immune from prosecution under Iraqi law.

Even though licenses have been required in Iraq since 2004, it is only recently that the Iraqi government has been able to act to enforce the rules.  
Evidently, many Iraqis are glad their government has chosen this action, not to mention many Americans.  I expect that at least some in our military might even be glad to get rid of these overpaid, what is the word, mercenaries.  

According to a congressional report issued in October 2007, Blackwater guards have been involved in nearly 200 shootings in Iraq since 2005.

 
A concern that came to my mind as I was preparing the diary is that they might do more horrific damage on their way out.  I hope not, but I hope this possibility is addressed so that any such possibility can be prevented.

Originally posted to Amber6541 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 08:14 AM PST.

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