June 10, 2008

Blackwater USA was formed in 1996 to provide additional support to military and law enforcement organizations. It was one of several private security firms employed following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan .

Blackwater Security Consulting was formed in 2002 and initially operated by Jamie Smith, who became the first Director of Blackwater Security Consulting. Smith left under allegations of resume fraud in late 2002 and formed SCG International Risk. BSC is one of over 60 private security firms employed during the Iraq War to guard officials and installations, train Iraq’s new army and police, and provide other support for occupation forces.[1]

The crowds mob the bridge on which two corpses are hanged

On March 31, 2004 – Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah ambushed a convoy containing four American private military contractors from Blackwater USA who were conducting delivery for food caterers ESS[2]. The four armed contractors, Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley Batalona and Michael Teague, were killed by a grenade. Their burned corpses were then dragged through the streets before being hung over a bridge crossing the Euphrates[3].

Photos of the event were released to news agencies worldwide, causing a great deal of indignation and moral outrage in the United States, and prompting the announcement of a upcoming “pacification” of the city.

In April 2005 six Blackwater independent contractors were killed in Iraq when their Mi-8 helicopter was shot down. Also killed were three Bulgarian crewmembers and two Fijian gunners. Initial reports indicate the helicopter was shot down by rocket propelled grenades. The six Americans killed have been identified as:
Robert Jason Gore, of Nevada, Iowa
Luke Adam Petrik of Conneaut, Ohio
Jason Obert of Fountain, Colorado
Steve McGovern of Lexington, Kentucky
Erick Smith of Waukesha, Wisconsin
David Patterson of Havelock, North Carolina

The three Bulgarians have been identified as:
Lyubomir Kostov
Georgi Naidenov
Stoyan Anchev

Kostov actually survived the helicopter crash, but was then shot to death by the men who shot the helicopter down.

Blackwater USA was employed to assist the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts on the Gulf Coast. According to a company press release, it provided airlift services, security services, humanitarian support services, and logistics and transportation services. Unofficial reports claim that the company also provided law enforcement services, such as securing neighborhoods and confronting criminals.[4]

On January 23, 2007, five Blackwater contractors were killed in Iraq when their helicopter was shot down. The incident happened in Baghdad, Haifa street. Three Iraqi insurgent groups claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, however, it is not confirmed by U.S. [5] A U.S. defense official has confirmed that four of the five killed were shot execution style in the back the head, but did not know whether the four were still alive when they were shot.[6] Robert Young Pelton (the only writer who has been allowed to live, work and travel with Blackwater in Iraq) broke the full details of the crash on his site. Pelton also met and flew with the Little Bird pilots.


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