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25 Feb, 2010 03:41

Blackwater – too irresistible to say goodbye to?

A US Senate investigation is looking into contractors hired by the Blackwater security firm. However, despite the constant atmosphere of scandal swirling around it, the company is still alive and well in Afghanistan.

From the Afghanistan war theatre to the Washington political theatre…

Code Pink protester Tighe Barry, who was present at the Senate Armed Forces hearing on military contractors actions in Afghanistan, said that during a break a Blackwater official approached him with threats.

“You do not need to hire these murderers,” Tighe Barry said. “I get a threat from these guy. He says he is going to kill me – this is how they react, this is how they run their business.”

After six months of investigations, the Senate Armed Forces Committee uncovered that the Blackwater company is riddled with problems.

At the hearing, defense contractors have taken center stage for a whole host of violations they committed – witnesses fired for drinking on the job, guilty of doling out AK-47s to contractors who should not have had them, negligence for not checking references in hiring a mercenary army.

“This is a question of whether contracting has gone awry or contracting has gone wild,” said Ben Nelson of the Committee on the aftermath of the hearing.

The meeting ruled that the actions of the contractors have hurt the national interests of the United States in Afghanistan.

“They keep killing civilians. I am sure some Afghans will decide to become insurgents,” said the chairman of the committee, Senator Carl Levin.

Lawmakers are sure that adequate supervision over contractors is necessary to prevent serious mistakes happen again and again.

However, Blackwater violations have been going on for years and its bad reputation is something average Americans are well aware of.

“That [is] the company we hired in Iraq to do security that committed all these crimes,” said Washington resident Rob Macgarrah.

And while the hearing continues, Blackwater is still alive and kicking in Afghanistan. The organization charged with killing 17 Iraqi civilians back in 2007 is today training the Afghan national army.