Thursday, July 26, 2007

"In April 2002, with no other company offered the chance to bid, Blackwater was given a $5.4 million contract to provide 20 guards for the new CIA station in Kabul. At $270,000 per guard, for six months, they didn’t come cheap. A pattern of high value, no-bid mercenary contracts was set, leading to a current contract portfolio Scahill estimates at more than half a billion dollars. When the government first put Blackwater on its approved list of contractors in 2000, it anticipated doing $125,000 worth of business with the company over five years. In fact, it did well over $100 million. Much of the increase was due to Iraq. One of Blackwater’s contracts was to protect the US proconsul in Baghdad, Paul Bremer. Just before leaving Iraq, Bremer promulgated a decree giving the occupation’s private contractors immunity from Iraqi law ‘with respect to acts performed by them pursuant to the terms and conditions of a contract’." (thanks May)