Blackwater Loses a Job for the C.I.A.–>NYT

Blackwater Loses a Job for the C.I.A.

NewyorkTimes

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/us/politics/12blackwater.html

By MARK MAZZETTI

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has terminated a contract with the security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide that allowed the company to load bombs on C.I.A. drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, intelligence officials said Friday.

The contract gave employees with the company an operational role in one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most significant covert programs, which has killed dozens of militants with Predator and Reaper drones. The company’s involvement highlighted the extent to which the C.I.A. had outsourced critical jobs to private companies since the 9/11 attacks.

The contract with the company, now called Xe Services, was canceled this year by Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, according to a C.I.A. spokesman. In August, The New York Times first revealed the existence of the contract, which was run by a division of the company called Blackwater Select, which handles classified contracts.

George Little, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that Mr. Panetta had ordered that the agency’s employees take over the jobs from Xe employees at the remote drone bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that Mr. Panetta had also ordered a review of all contracts with the company.

“At this time, Blackwater is not involved in any C.I.A. operations other than in a security or support role,” Mr. Little said.

The disclosure about the terminated contract comes a day after The Times reported that Blackwater employees had joined C.I.A. operatives in secret “snatch and grab” operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blackwater’s role in the raids grew out of contracts that the company had with the spy agency to provide security for the C.I.A. in Kabul and Baghdad.

The company had a dual role in the drone program, said current and former employees and intelligence officials. Contractors on the secret bases assembled and loaded Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs onto drones, and they also provided security at the C.I.A. bases.

The C.I.A. did not allow contractors to select targets for the drone attacks or pull the trigger on the strikes. That work was done at the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Langley, Va.

But Blackwater’s direct role in the drone operations sometimes led to disputes between the contractors and C.I.A. employees, as the spy agency sometimes accused Blackwater employees of poor weapon assembly if the missile or bomb missed a target. In one instance last year, a 500-pound bomb dropped off a Predator before the drone had launched its payload, leading to a frenzied search along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

A company employee said the bomb was eventually found not far from the intended target.

Advertisements

Appeal to the civil society of world–>Justice required in Nayyar Zaidi case

It’s a real shame for USA justice system that every now and then we see people becoming victims of state run security agencies and the justice system in USA fails to protect them.

We have seen a shameful example of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi who is still having terrible time in USA and also an old man with the name Nayyar Zaidi is going through a mental torture because of the USA system of justice.

We in Pakistan and other third world countries are used to of similar but a country which claims to be the most progressive civilization and a symbol of democracy should not have such things in their society.

It is quiet clear that Nayyar Zaidi was trapped by USA security agencies in a shamefully false case and the victim’s family is getting not much help from the civil society of the world.

Therefore we appeal to the civil society of the world to do what ever they can to provide justice to an old man is who is facing may be the toughest time of his life.

Below is the message on Facebook by Nayyar’s family:

———————————————————————————————-

Muhammad Tariq Khan sent a message to the members of Nayyar Zaidi is a Journalist Not A Criminal, Support Nayyar Zaidi.

——————–
Subject: The Family Request .. Please Take Action ..

Regarding Nayyar Zaidi Case in a recent email from Zaidi family the family expressed their sorrow over the sad death news of Mr. Muhammad Tariq Khan’s brother in-law’s, Zaidi family conveyed their condolences to Mr. Khan and his family and pray Allah for mercy and blessing on deceased soul.

Zaid family also expressed their gratitude for Mr. Khan and the whole group for their unconditional support to Mr. Zaidi and his family in this trying time, Mr. Zaidi is still suffering in jail for a crime he never committed.  According to the update his pre-trial hearing is this Wednesday October 7, 2009, when the judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence for against Mr. Zaidi to go to trial by jury, and then date can be set for further hearing, and if the judge decides there is not enough evidence, then the whole case will be dismissed and he will be set free.

Mr. Zaidi also authorized group to send the addresses of Attorney General Eric Holder, to the members, supporters, journalists and journalist organizations in order to raise awareness about his case.

The following is the address and email address of the US Attorney General

The Attorney General of the United States of America
Eric Holder
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20530
USA

Email               askdoj@usdoj.gov
Attention:      US Attorney General–
Attn;   Eric Holder

Fax:    +1 202-307-6777

The family recommended that everyone who sympathizes with Mr. Zaidi and is looking for the justice in his case should write to the US Attorney General on above address, email and fax request him to hold impartial and immediate investigation in this case.

Organizations such as PFUJ, Committee for Protection of Journalists, Local Press Clubs, National and International Journalist Organizations and individual journalist should write to him asking him to investigate this case, remember we are not demanding the release but impartial investigation into the circumstance that lead to Mr. Zaidi arrest and the way his case is being handled.

The family regretted the fact that President Zardari was recently in Washington and the Ambassador Haqqani was with him all along, who himself is a veteran journalist, but they never approached any of the family members and never raised Zaidi case on any level with US officials

The members, journalists and journalist organizations should also keep writing to Haqqani and Zardari to remind them of their obligations.

The Zaidi family, this trying time, is frustrated but their faith in Allah and religion keeps them going, they want to thank all members and are requesting everyone to please pray for October 7th outcome in favour of Mr. Zaidi.