Blackwater 'Cowboys' Faster on Trigger

Have been in twice as many shootings as other security firms in Iraq
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2007 10:12 AM CDT
Blackwater 'Cowboys' Faster on Trigger
Hassan Jabir, 37, recovers from gunshot wounds in a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007. Jabir, a lawyer, says he was in his car in the Mansour neighborhood when guards in a U.S. State Department convoy opened fire, shooting him four times. The State Department and the company in question,...   (Associated Press)

The US security firm being investigated in an Iraqi operation earlier this month that killed at least 11 civilians has been involved in twice as many shootings as other companies providing protection to American officials in Iraq, the New York Times reports. Guards working for Blackwater killed 10 and wounded 15 in six other shootings, which are also being investigated.

Some say Blackwater encourages a quick-draw culture among its employees. “You can find any number of people who will tell you that Blackwater promotes a much more aggressive response than other contractors,” said a senior American official. One Democratic lawmaker called Blackwater guards "cowboy guys" who are alienating Iraqis. "They're repeat offenders, and yet they continue to prosper," she said. (More Iraq stories.)

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