Thursday, October 04, 2007

Their reality has lapped our satire

I know from my super-top-secret contact in the State Department (codename: Maestro) that State is in a big personnel crunch right now, what with the passport backlog and all. So it's natural that it might turn to outside contractors for help. But please, when writing an initial report investigating the Blackwater shooting incident, please don't outsource the job to a Blackwater employee:
A Blackwater contractor wrote an initial U.S. government report describing contractors' involvement in a September 16 incident in which Iraqi civilians were shot, government and industry sources told CNN.

Blackwater contractor Darren Hanner drafted the two-page spot report on the letterhead of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for the embassy's Tactical Operations Center, said a source involved in diplomatic security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Hanner, listed on the report as the center's watch officer, was working for Blackwater at the time the report was written -- just after the shooting occurred, said a highly placed industry source. He was to rotate out of Iraq last week, the source said.

The State Department is of course distancing itself from the report:

The State Department is conducting an investigation, and deputy spokesman Tom Casey called the spot report "a first-blush account of those on the scene." He said the "report has no standing whatsoever."

"It was not intended to be used as an analysis, investigation, review or any detailed assessment of the situation. To assert that is untrue," Casey said.

HT: TPM via rubber hose.


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