Rice stalled probe of Blackwater

A leading Democratic lawmaker on Tuesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of interfering in congressional inquiries into corruption in Iraq’s government and the activities of U.S. security firm Blackwater.

Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman said State Department officials had told the Oversight and Government Reform Committee he chairs they could not provide details of corruption in Iraq’s government unless the information was treated as a “state secret” and not revealed to the public.

“You are wrong to interfere with the committee’s inquiry,” Waxman said in a letter to Rice. “The State Department’s position on this matter is ludicrous,” added Waxman, a vocal opponent of the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.

But State Department spokesman Tom Casey said there seemed to have been a “misunderstanding” over the issue and all the information requested by Congress had either been provided or was in the process of being provided.

Waxman said security contractor Blackwater, which was involved in an incident in which Iraqi civilians were killed last week, said they could not hand over documents relevant to an investigation without State Department approval.

But Casey said later Blackwater had been informed the State Department had no objection to it providing information to Waxman’s committee.

Blackwater provides security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and has a contract with the State Department.

The company was involved in a September 16 shooting in which 11 people were killed while Blackwater was escorting a convoy through Baghdad. The State Department is investigating the incident along with the Iraqis.

Waxman, who has called a hearing on Blackwater for October 2, released a letter his staff received from the security contractor’s attorneys dated September 24.

“It (the State Department) directs Blackwater USA not to disclose any information concerning the contract without DOS (Department of State) preauthorization in writing.”

Blackwater also urged the committee not to ask questions at the hearing that could reveal sensitive information “that could be utilized by our country’s implacable enemies in Iraq.”

Such information included the size of their security staff in Baghdad, weaponry and the operation of convoys.

Waxman also released a letter signed by State Department contracting officer Kiazan Moneypenny to Blackwater.

“I hereby direct Blackwater to make no disclosure of documents or information … unless such disclosure has been authorized in writing by the contracting officer,” wrote Moneypenny.

Waxman also complained Rice was refusing to testify at any hearings his committee planned to look at political reconciliation in Iraq, corruption or the Blackwater incident.

“We have offered to make available for testimony those officials in the best position to respond to the specific issues the committee has raised,” said Casey.

17 Responses to "Rice stalled probe of Blackwater"

  1. SEAL  September 27, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    You guys are using some pretty dangerous language. Proposing or just inquiring about an “overthrow” of the presidency by military force in a forum such as this has already placed you on a “list.” Don’t expect to be able to fly anywhere. The airports will not be friendly places for you. And don’t be surprised if a couple of black suburban SUV’s show up in your neighborhoods.

    But to address your question, as I understand it, IF congress refused to fund the war they would still fund the military. They are two seperate things. Congress would never consider cutting off the money necessary to maintain the military and, certainly, Bush would sign the military funding bill.

    IF congress were to stand their ground and refuse to change the bill they sent Bush for the war in Iraq with the timelines, etc. there would be cataphonic screaming about failure to support the troops and the threat to the nation and so on and so forth. But if the dems would actually counter by exposing that as the nonsense that it is and simply refuse to send any other bill, Bush would be faced with either signing the bill and giving up control of the Iraq/Afghanistan occupation or ordering a complete withdrawal from Iraq (only) which, BTW, would require a new bill to fund that.

    Bush could keep the war going for 2 possibly 3 months in a stalemate with congress but that would be all. The people’s reaction would undoubtably determine the outcome and the press would certainly misrepresent that in Bush’s favor in the beginning. However, IF the congress was determined, there is nothing Bush could do but give in and sign the bill. That would end his power making him the lamest duck ever. Or he would have a vindictive tantrum and who knows what that would be. What would the corporate power do? I know what they did in the 60′s. There was a rash of “lone” assasins.

    The JCS would have nothing to do with any of this other than to explain to Bush what would be the effect of either option. One of those would be that it would take 6 months and cost a great deal to withdraw. There would be nothing for the JCS to “put the screws to Bush” about.

    I must admit the rising feeling I get from the picture my mind creates of the tanks rolling up to the White House and leveling their cannons at Bush but, with our system of government, I can’t conceive of any conditions created that could result in an overthrow by the military. And such a thing could not be confined to the president, it would have to be the entire government. I can conceive of conditions that would cause the military to refuse to obey an order given by the commander in chief (President Bush) such as Marshall Law as we have discussed before.

    Any vision of a military overthrow in this country is sheer fantasy for a movie. Removing a dangerous president from office does not require the military. We have police agencies that would handle that if it ever became necessary due to one mentally flipping out and locking himself in the Oval Office with the football or some such thing. Otherwise, there is impeachment (which should be over by now).

  2. Klaus Hergeschimmer  September 28, 2007 at 6:20 am

    Thanks Seal, I was just postulating a worst case scenario if Bush pulled a Hitler at Stalingrad type psychosis, refusing to give in and ignoring the congress with signing orders and that kind of thing. I didn’t mean to say I was advocating overthrow, but just what would happen if Bush got Hitlerian to the extreme. I was just having a hard time imagining all the scenario details, including a worst case ‘bunker’ type state of mind Bush could push the situation toward, so thanks Seal, your post here fed my curiosity as to just how it could play out.

  3. JudyB  September 26, 2007 at 8:49 am

    Plain & simple..this is but one more of the secrets Bush/Cheney had hoped would stay behind their carefully constructed “smoke screen” of secrecy, lies and deceit! But alas, their secret “gestapo” is no longer a secret so the
    poor dears will be forced to lie even more in order to “protect” the security of our troops and nation.
    IF AND WHEN We ever learn the whole truth about Blackwater and its crimes against humanity the entire world will be not only appalled, but sickened!

  4. Helen Rainier  September 26, 2007 at 9:50 am

    This is not surprising in the least. The bottom line is simply this: These people cannot and must not be trusted to do the “correct” thing nor to abide by the rule of law. How much more proof do the members of Congress need to finally get it through their thick skulls that these are charlatans and poseurs who have no concept of what moral and courageous leadership is?

    Being a liar, a deceiver and/or a crook is not moral, nor is it courageous. The vast majority of the American people have finally caught on to this, and I am totally at a loss to understand why Congress is unable to do the same thing. We need true “law and order” representatives and officials — not those who are so lacking in analytical and critical thinking and the intestinal fortitude to stand up and fight like hell for it.

    With as apprehensive as I am about Ms. Clinton, I am becoming tempted to vote for her if it means that President Clinton would have a part in a Clinton administration. He at least understands the importance of such things as diplomacy and humanitarian principles. He would most certainly be an invaluable asset towards the fight to regain America’s credibility and reputation which is in a million shattered pieces.

  5. Rob Kezelis  September 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    what’s that word, rhymes with which . . . .

  6. Helen Rainier  September 26, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    Rob,

    OK, trying to figure out to whose comments your comment is directed towards.

    On the off chance it is mine, I will say this:

    Do you know what a bitch is?

    She’s a: Babe In Total Control of Herself

    Hillary scored points with me during her interview with Chris Wallace — loved the way she BITCH SLAPPED him with laughter.

    That was GREAT!

  7. Klaus Hergeschimmer  September 26, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Great Comments Helen, the Dems are just Brain Dead in general except a few of them like Henry Waxman. If the Democratic party was composed mostly of outspoken representatives such as Waxman it would truly be an opposition party, but the Democratic party as it really is has stupid leaders like Nancy Pelosi who take impeachment off the table even before she gained the speakership of the house; a speaker of the house who bowed into AIPAC presure to take out a clause in the May spending bill that would have required Bush to go to congress for permission to bomb Iran.

    My message to Nancette Pelosi is: Whose fault is it miss Nancypants if the Chimp bombs Iran…

  8. Helen Rainier  September 26, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Klaus,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    I am both an “organized politics and religion” non partisan. I simply do not believe in either one of them. Therefore, I take potshots at any of them when I think they deserve it.

    To be honest, I’m not impressed with any of the people attempting to be the candidates for their particular parties. I’m so sick of being put into a position of having to vote for whom I think will be the “lesser of two evils” as opposed to who I think is “most qualified” to do the job. I do like the Democratic Party candidates better as a whole than the Republican candidates. The Republicans are too “theocratic” for my liking.

    If the very future of this country weren’t at stake (as it has been in the previous two presidential elections), I would “write-in” my choices — and they would most likely be Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I would also consider Keith Olbermann. One thing I do know for sure is that I will NEVER vote for a Republican again — EVER.

    We’re in deep kimchee right now and the Congress has been largely responsible for it for putting party loyalty and candidate loyalty ahead of loyalty to the US Constitution. I will NOT vote for any candidate who refuses to honor the Constitution.

    When I enlisted and re-enlisted in the Army/Army Reserve and raised my right hand, I swore to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies — foreign and domestic. I never dreamed my own government would become the enemy and it saddens me very, very much.

    I will fight til my dying day to go back to America, Home of the Brave and Land of the Free and to kill Amerika, Home of Oppressors and Lawbreakers.

  9. Rob Kezelis  September 26, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    I was referring to misRice, the mistaken SecState who is covering for Blackwater.

  10. Helen Rainier  September 27, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Rob,

    Thanks for addressing my “question.”

    Rice is totally out of her element. It’s clear to me that she has no idea what being a Secretary of State is about.

    Of course, she was also a miserable failure at being National Security Adviser. I still remember her referring to the 6 August 2001 PDB, warning of a major AQ offensive in the US as being an “historical” document and that no one could have envisioned planes being used as “weapons.”

    Apparently, she and her ilk have forgotten about the kamikaze pilots of WW II and the previous attack on the WTC in 1993.

    At that time, a man named Rick Rescorla (spelling?) was Security Chief for Morgan Stanley at the WTC and warned that the next attack on the building would be from the air. Sadly, he wasn’t listened to. If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Rescorla
    died on 9-11-01 evacuating people out of the WTC. He was ordered to evacuate himself but refused to do so until he made sure all of MS’s employees were safely out.

    He was a retired US Army officer but British by birth.

    Wikipedia has info on him.

  11. bryan mcclellan  September 26, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Too bad ineptitude does not rhyme with bitch,or liar or chimps squeeze toy.

  12. SEAL  September 27, 2007 at 4:13 am

    It comes pretty close to political prostitute though. We could make a new word. Ineptitude – prostitude?

    This woman has been the invisable Secretary of State. We almost never see or hear about her. When cabinent members are quiet and out of sight, that always means they are up to no good.

  13. Klaus Hergeschimmer  September 27, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Hey Seal, Condi-Girl was the Provost of Stanford University in my neck of the woods here in San Francisco.

    My Suggestion is since she was a Provost she could be
    a PROVOSTITUTE!!! (HAH HAH HAH!!!)

    -Does that work OK? :)

  14. Klaus Hergeschimmer  September 27, 2007 at 8:41 am

    However questionable some of the things Bill Clinton’s Administration did, nothing it did compares to Bush & the Neo-Cons un-relenting attack on truth itself.

    I’m very worried about Hillary Clinton taking funds from pharmaceuticals & health insurance companies, but if the Republicans get in it will be worse. Another thing that is extremely worrisome is Hillary is taking money from Rupert Murdoch so I can’t vote for her.

    I can’t vote for Obama. Edwards seems to be the least corporatised of all of them, but I have doubts about him. I’ll vote for Kucinich in the primaries but he’s got next to little chance of winning the presidency.

    At least a Democratic win in 08′ will come with out the Theocratic Accessary Baggage that is by far the most repugnant accouterments of the Elephant party

  15. Klaus Hergeschimmer  September 27, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Ms. Rice is one of the last bowling pins on the alley.

    1) George Tenet got swiped off the alley

    2) Ambassador John Bolton’s ugly ass has been slammed.

    3) Donald Dumsfeld’s been put out to pasture.

    4) Scooty Liar’s ass is dumped.

    5) Karl Rove’s been shoveled in the Turd Blossom Pile.

    6) Super Dip Shit, Alberto Gozno, is Gonzo too.

    Were gonna get you Condi Girl!!! Gonna get cha’

    That was actually cathartic making this list, I hope
    it brightened everyones spirits a bit.

  16. Soldat  September 27, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Helen, I’m glad to see another veteran remembers their oath – I just wish our active duty soldiers would remember (and act upon) it.

    Our Congress is bought and paid for, they are complicit in the war crimes being perpetuated in our name, the media has become a tool of the people who pull the strings of our puppet president and Congress.

    It’s time for the military to overthrow our government and allow the people to elect another one.

  17. Klaus Hergeschimmer  September 27, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    That could have happened if the Demo-Chicken-Shit Krats would have simply not turned in a spending bill last May.

    Hey Soldat, I have a question: if Dems had not sent a spending bill last May, would the chiefs of staff at the Pentagon start turning the screws down on Bush to comply with a bill to send Congress it would sign. The onus would have clearly been on Bush, not the Dems. What scenario of events would transpire on Bush if he refused to send a bill to congress? What possible variations of scenario events play out in terms of an overthrow of Bush.

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