Erik Prince, the chap found founded and runs Blackwater, has been giving evidence to the House Oversight Committee:
The US company at the centre of the burgeoning scandal over the role of private security guards in Iraq today brushed aside accusations that it was a cowboy outfit, as new details emerged about a incident in which an allegedly drunken member was involved in a fatal shooting.
Testifying before a Congressional hearing, Erik Prince, the normally secretive head of Blackwater, denied his company was overly aggressive.
…In an opening statement before the House oversight committee, Mr Prince, 38, defended his company in relation over the killings. “There has been a rush to judgment based on inaccurate information, and many public reports have wrongly pronounced Blackwater’s guilt for the deaths of varying numbers of civilians. Congress should not accept these allegations as truth until it has the facts.”
He added: “Based on everything we currently know, the Blackwater team acted appropriately while operating in a very complex war zone on Sept. 16.”
As predicted, “Mr Prince was helped by division on the committee between Democrats, who were critical, and Republicans who thought the company had been successful in fulfilling its protection role”. Gotta love that party politics!
Also helping out Yosemite Erik was the State Department:
…the US justice department unexpectedly stepped in at the last minute and asked that both the members of the Congressional committee and Mr Prince avoid specific questions about the September incident.
The truth, partly the truth, and nothing but the truth, mostly 😀
(From The Guardian, 2nd October)