EXCERPT: "One former Blackwater guard recalled a meeting in Baghdad in 2004 in which Erik Prince addressed a group of Blackwater guards working with the C.I.A. At the meeting in an air hangar used by Blackwater, the guard said, Mr. Prince encouraged the Blackwater personnel “to do whatever it takes” to help the C.I.A. with the intensifying insurgency, the former guard recalled."
Blackwater contractors helped fight terrorists in Iraq. Good thing, right? To my dismay, this story is being reported as a scandal.
The situation in 2004-2006 Iraq was critical and worsening. The terrorists were escalating their campaign and trying their hardest to collapse the fragile, post-Saddam Iraq with massive death and destruction. Iraqi society was tearing apart and people were dying in the streets by the hundreds. With the insurgency in Iraq reaching its height, the highest imperative for our side was to do everything we could do in order to protect Iraq and the Iraqi people from the terrorists. The Blackwater contractors, already hired and on the ground, were at least as well prepared as their overwhelmed counterparts in the CIA and US military. As the NY Times article describes the Blackwater contractors, "many of them [were] former members of units of the Navy Seals or Army Delta Force".
Despite the exigent circumstances of 2004-2006 Iraq, Representative Rush D. Holt believes the use of Blackwater contractors was "a scandal" and "very troubling to a lot of people.”
I disagree with Representative Holt. Not using the best people who were available on the ground at that time under those circumstances in Iraq would have qualified as 'very troubling' and a 'scandal'. Those Blackwater contractors should be commended, instead of treated as criminals. They weren't hired to fight terrorists in Iraq, but in an emergency situation, the Blackwater contractors understood the importance of the mission and the dangers faced by their short-handed government comrades. They responded like soldiers and placed their lives in more danger by volunteering their abilities to help their comrades and serve the greater good for their nation and Iraq.
Blackwater helping to fight terrorists in 2004-2006 Iraq: right. Rep Holt: wrong.