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Resource ID: #23965
Subject: Iraq
Source: ABC News
Date: 2008-12-08


Description's "The Blotter" has tracked the operations of one of the most controversial private security companies operating in Iraq, Blackwater. ABC news focused on the investigation following a deadly shooting in Baghdad that left 17 civilians dead. Reporters in the U.S. and in Baghdad followed the investigation by developing relationships with the victims of the shooting and their families, obtaining exclusive documents and developing knowledgeable sources inside the State Department. The team began their investigation by looking behind-the-scenes at Blackwater's effort in Iraq to make compensation settlements with the survivors and victims' families and capped with reporting that one of the Blackwater guards involved in t he shooting signed a secret plea deal to testify against his five indicted co-workers. In the course or reporting, ABC news also uncovered numerous other unreported controversies surrounding Blackwater's operations. Despite being accused of improper use of force, arms trafficking and overbilling, the State Department renewed Blackwater's $1.2 billion contract earlier this year.

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