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Blackwater radio logs contend incoming gunfire

December 18th, 2008 . by TexasFred

Blackwater radio logs contend incoming gunfire

WASHINGTON - Radio logs from a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad contradict U.S. government claims that Blackwater Worldwide security guards were unprovoked when they killed 14 Iraqi civilians.

Five guards face manslaughter and weapons charges for their roles in the shootings. A sixth has pleaded guilty. Prosecutors said the men unleashed a gruesome attack on unarmed Iraqis, including women, children and people trying to escape.

Blackwater communication logs from the Sept. 16, 2007, shooting suggest otherwise. The logs, turned over to prosecutors, describe a hectic eight minutes in which the guards repeatedly reported incoming gunfire from insurgents and Iraqi police. Copies of the documents were obtained by The Associated Press.

Because Blackwater guards were authorized to fire in self-defense, any evidence their convoy was attacked will make it harder for the Justice Department to prove they acted unlawfully.

The logs, which document radio traffic heard by the company’s dispatch center inside the U.S.-controlled Green Zone, show that the Blackwater convoy known as Raven 23 reported taking small arms fire from insurgents within one minute of shutting down traffic in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square.

Full Story Here:
Blackwater radio logs contend incoming gunfire

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would bet everything I have on what I believe to be a truth and a fact. These Blackwater contractors did NOT go crazy, they did NOT open fire on *innocent* civilians and they did NOT commit acts of murder upon innocent Iraqis.

These contractors, and our troops face an enemy that is NOT easily identifiable. We are basically fighting a *civilian* army, an insurgency, and they are NOT uniformed. It is damned near impossible to tell who is who, and at the risk of once again being labeled a racist by those that have NEVER been there, in the heat of combat, ALL of these people look the same!

Evidence of fire fight
It’s unclear why Iraqi police would fire on the Blackwater convoy. Prosecutors could argue the police fired because they believed Blackwater was attacking civilians. It also is common for insurgents to dress as Iraqi police or military officials.

And for those that may not know, not only do insurgents dress as Iraqi police, REAL Iraqi police are seriously infiltrated with radical insurgents.

One other fact that has been mentioned in previous stories that bears repeating here is this, the insurgents have, and WILL, hide behind innocent men, women and children when they open fire on OUR troops. It’s called using *human shields*, and it is THE most cowardly act that any cretin could employ.

But if you look at it from the insurgents side, it’s a great PR ploy. If civilians, non-combatants, get killed, and our guys, military or contractors are the ones that did the killing while engaged in a gunfight WITH the insurgents, WE come out looking like the bad guys, and the *innocent freedom fighters* win the PR battle in the Arab world.

There will always be *collateral damage* in combat, it’s the nature of the beast. It is my sincere belief that the Blackwater guys were being fired upon, from this very crowd of *civilians* and supposed Iraqi police. It is my sincere belief that these guys acted in exactly the correct manner with an almost perfect response.

Anyone that would argue otherwise has, as I said, NEVER been there. Never worn the uniform, never led in command and never put their ass on the line for this nation!

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2 Responses to “Blackwater radio logs contend incoming gunfire”

  1. comment number 1 by: In Baghdad

    I am in Iraq, (Baghdad at the moment) and have been here for many years, in the security services. I don’t work for BW. Firstly TexasFred, thank you for speaking up, PSC (Private Security Companies) have been maligned from the start, mainly by people that have never been here- or in any combat or hostile situation. People’s comments and assumptions are made on normally biased and uninformed news outlets, and any attempts to correct them are met with mildly hysterical hissy fits.

    Speaking directly to the BW incident- no one can really say what exactly happened on that day unless you were there. So I cannot comment on that incident. What I can comment on is my past experience. First of all a QRF is not sent out unless there is a REASON. QRF was sent to the square by the BW TOC in the IZ , therefore the Team at the square had reason to request this (IED detonation (attack). IPs (Iraqi Police) have on MANY occasions fired at US Mil and PSC personnel, they are heavily infiltrated with Shia Insurgents. There are also documented incidences where Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army personnel have turned their weapons onto their American instructors and US Mil soldiers. Any quick Google search will bring them up if you have missed these reports. And finally Iraqi Members of PSC companies have also turned their weapons on other staff

    You will note that this is an older article, it later came to light that the Iraqi truck drivers, IPs and Iraqi members of the PSC team had planned this massacre of the western members of the PSC .All the men later turned up deceased.

    So it is a well established FACT that IPs, and Iraqi Army personnel fire upon westerners, and their own countrymen. And anyone can buy an IP uniform downtown Baghdad no problem, so you never know who is good or bad. But uniform or not- the rule of thumb is- if a person is shooting at you, your client, or another member of your team – you are LEGALLY (and I say MORALLY) entitled to defend yourself, client or team member.

    As for killing “civilians�? the ONLY difference between a “insurgent�? and a “civilian�? in this situation is the possession of a weapon and there use thereof- as the FBI did not see the site of this attack on BW for a long time, it has no idea what was removed from the scene before they arrived- such as bullet casings and weapons from the hands of dead insurgents (poof! They are now innocent civilians). I would loved to have seen FULL autopsies done on these bodies- with ballistics— Why? Because as we know the BW guys carry a different weapon than the bad guys over here- I bet that 90% of those so called “killed by BW�? bodies had AK47 rounds in them- the choice of IPs, IA and Insurgents.
    But of course we will never know, a mix of culture and time lag means that autopsies were never done by reliable sources- funnily enough the bodies were around long enough for a few “photo ops�? then poof- disappeared into the ground (more photo ops).

    Next Iraqi testimony-First Iraqi are drama queens, I know I live and work with them, -EVERYTHING is a huge drama! They also LIE through their teeth. Now lets assume that only ½ of the Iraqis that will testify truly believe what they are saying- THINK for a moment- bullets are flying – what are you doing? Ducking for cover- or standing out in the open watching everything any one does seeing who shot whom and when and how?- it appears theses Iraqis stood in the open and saw and remembered everything—- hummm, interesting people these “witnesses�? are. As for the other half – people remember amazing things when their families or themselves are threatened.- something IPs are famous for ….. Enough said.

    People can also (esp Iraqis) get caught up in the drama, hear one person say something, they repeat it and repeat it, then suddenly it is unshakable fact, and they will repeat this fact like a parrot until the day they die.

    Back to BW specifically- Are they aggressive? YES, are they overly aggressive sometimes YES!! Do I personally agree how they handle all situations- NO. Me personally I think they are very aggressive in their traffic negotiations, a bit more than is warranted, but since the shooting they have toned down a little bit. There is only 1 other PSC that is that aggressive on the roads here, everyone else is more lower key and less aggressive. Most other security companies do not like BW for these types of aggressive SOPs, however all have supported BW in this incident- not that we all know what happened- we never will- but because of the accusations and assumptions that were made before the team even got back to the IZ! It was declared a massacre and the team murders in Iraq (and shamefully the USA) before anyone had even had time to ask even what really happened.

    For me, I believe BW. I think that they were attacked first and they did return fire, I think they did kill people that day in self defense. I also believe that most of the dead were killed by the “spray and pray�? approach of the insurgents (IPs IA, whoever) and I think the scene was “cleaned�? by the bad guys before the FBI even arrived in Iraq.

    One quick note on media bias. When this incident occurred a reporter (safely back in his own country) commented- “Oh yes I had a PSC when I was reporting from Iraq, they are very aggressive and I had my concerns then also!�? My response to seeing this was an *expletive*

    You see, I had seen this reporter with his PSC during an indirect fire attack (incoming rockets and mortars) We both pulled up the same bunker when the warning sirens went off, his team got him into the bunker (as we did with our client) and as the bunker was full of “civilians�? (for lack of a better word) the security teams stood OUTSIDE the bunkers as the rockets impacted.

    The “reporter�? was then lead from the bunker, back to his armored vehicle when the “all clear�? siren sounded, and all he kept repeating was “thank you, thank you, you are so wonderful, thank you�? So like most reporters over here, they love you when, they need you, you give your life for them, or they are peeing down their legs and are scared, but as soon as they are safely home (thanks to us!) They are happy to jump on the bandwagon to attack us. Not much morality or honesty there.

    People say we are overpaid- I answer with- tell me what your life is worth? They tell me “Priceless�?! I say well, then what we get a month in wages isn’t so much then is it? Because that is the “price�? for our lives- and many have paid in full.

    Also remember the more PSC on the roads getting attacked (and killed) then LESS our troops are on these roads to hell- and anytime we can keep our guys off the road is a good day for me. If we weren’t here, and doing what we do, the “soldiers killed in Iraq�? tally would be MUCH higher.

  2. comment number 2 by: TexasFred

    Back to BW specifically- Are they aggressive? YES, are they overly aggressive sometimes YES!!

    My Son and I had that very discussion last night. He was on Route Irish back on ’04 and ’05 with his deployment, the road to BIA was their primary AO…

    He said the exact same thing, BW was sometimes overly aggressive… But I still believe, overly aggressive or not, and by who’s definition do we define *overly*, I still believe they were fired upon by persons in that crowd…

    As you said, the seen was quite likely HIGHLY sanitized before ANY investigative work was done, and as we both said, the Iraq army and police uniforms are easily obtainable…

    Not to mention the fact that the Iraqi forces are filled with insurgents…

    I have strong connections to Blackwater and their operation, from time past, I am fully retired now. I do know this, the BW personnel that I dealt with in the past were NOT *Choir Boys*, they were some bad-assed sons a bitches, that was their job. They were not hired for their social graces, they were hired because they knew exactly how to keep their client alive…

    They were the ultimate professionals, and at the drop of a hat they could, and DID go full tilt Dr. Death on anything that moved… I really liked their style… :)