Et tu, State Department?
Earlier this week, we told you that the Iraqi government had decided not to renew Blackwater’s contract to operate in Iraq, thanks to a 2007 incident in which Blackwater guards opened fire in a Baghdad square, killing 17 Iraqis, among several other cases of excessive force. Five ex-Blackwater guards were charged with voluntary manslaughter and are awaiting trial in connection with the 2007 incident.
Now, the State Department, which depended on Blackwater as its biggest contractor providing security to US diplomats in Iraq, has followed suit, according to the Associated Press, declining to renew the controversial company’s contract to protect department personnel in Iraq when it expires in May.
The decision was a result of the Iraqi government’s move, according to a department official.
In the AP’s words, the state Department is “still considering its options” as to how to proceed.