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Rice's low-key agents stalk trigger-happy armed guards in Iraq

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-06-07 04:28 AM
Original message
Rice's low-key agents stalk trigger-happy armed guards in Iraq
Source: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) Aided by radio and video links, a little known enforcement arm of the US State Department is to stalk the guards of American private security firm Blackwater in Baghdad after their trigger happy ways anger Iraqis.

Agents from the diplomatic security bureau, whose current duties range from protecting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to running a reward program to catch terror mastermind Osama bin laden, are being sent to Baghdad to rein in Blackwater's armed guards, officials said.

. . .

Constrained by a staff shortage, the diplomatic security bureau had contracted the task of protecting diplomats in Baghdad to Blackwater but now, ironically, it has to add its own resources to keep watch on the company.

. . .

So, Rice directed special agents from her bureau of diplomatic security to travel to Baghdad to begin accompanying every Blackwater protective details.

The bureau, which currently monitors radio transmissions involving Blackwater staff, has to now actually record those transmissions to ensure that there was adequate electronic data available in case of future controversies.

Read more: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5j5Qg7S2DJWcz0w9lp6w...
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-06-07 05:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", as they've said for a couple of thousand years
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-06-07 06:50 AM
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2. Condoleezza Rice is not letting Blackwater use her letterhead anymore
For now.

But she's giving them more contracts.
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spindrifter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-06-07 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. Another example of wretched excess...
This is absolute crap. Having some DoS person watching the BW contractors as they ferry diplomats and such around Baghdad is another boondoggle. Is the State Dept. person going to be authorized to say "don't do it" and get a response other than "screw you"? BW believes its people are trained to deal with the thorniest of security problems and it knows the DoS people are not.
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mallard Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-06-07 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. Why do these new State Dept security agents...
... coming onto the scene suggest an escalation in risk to me? Am I starting to think BushCo contractors would tend to behave like mafia thugs if they feel their turf is being threatened?

It's an emergency for them and that was not a part of the original concept.

Danger, danger!*


* ref: Robot: Lost in Space circa 1967 (LIS) - mechanical arms flailing madly
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StephanieSD Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. These "new" policies aren't really new.
They're just newly pubicized to make people think action is being taken. Diplomatic Security Service has been operating this way for years. The directions from Rice amount to a publicization and possible expansion of what's been the norm for some time. Maybe some more temporary agents will be used in Baghdad, but that's it. And the DS agents have similar training to the Blackwater guys. There just aren't enough of them. What Blackwater does for the embassy in Baghdad, DS agents do all over the rest of the world.
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