Gates confirms Blackwater presence in Pakistan
2010 01 24

From: PressTV.ir

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirms that American security firms Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater, and DynCorp have been operating in Pakistan.

The two firms are operating in private capacities, Gates said on Thursday, adding that the companies were abiding by Pakistani laws.

However, he said that if the Pakistani parliament votes for a ban on the presence of the firms, the US government would comply with it.

Blackwater won notoriety for having gone on a shooting rampage in a heavily trafficked Baghdad intersection in September 2007 killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians.

Blackwater Worldwide changed its name to Xe Services LLC in February 2009, after it came under international criticism for its disregard for civilian lives.

Two former Blackwater mercenaries have also been charged with the 2009 murder of two Afghan civilians in Kabul.

Asad Durani, former head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had earlier told Press TV that the notorious firm, Blackwater, was involved in the deadly drone attacks on Pakistani territories, which usually result in civilian casualties.

"I learned somewhere that these people are employed certainly for…the logistic support at the drone bases. That is understandable," Durani said earlier in January.

Gates, meanwhile, said that Washington is considering sharing its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology with Pakistan.

"These UAVs are useful and we have a budget for them," Gates said in an interview with a privately-run Pakistani television on Thursday.

He claimed that the drones had proved productive in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We are working together with Pakistan army in this connection," Gates said, adding that discussions were underway with Pakistan military leadership on technical matters in this regard, a Press TV correspondent reported late Thursday.

Defense officials in his delegation later said that the US will provide 12 Shadow drones to Pakistan.

The Shadow drone is about 3.3 meters (11 feet) long and has a wing-span of 4.2 meters (14 feet), with sensors and cameras feeding video images back to operators on the ground.

Article from: PressTV.ir




Pentagon backtracks after Gates ‘admits’ Blackwater operating in Pakistan

By Daniel Tencer | PrisonPlanet.com

The Pentagon has gone into damage control mode after Defense Secretary Robert Gates appeared to confirm that security contractor Blackwater is operating in Pakistan.

The admission, quickly denied by Defense Department officials, has set fire to long-simmering rumors inside Pakistan about the involvement of for-profit contractors in the war against the Taliban.

Defense Department officials say Gates did not mean to suggest that Blackwater is now operating on Pakistani soil when a journalist from Pakistan’s Express TV asked him about military contractors’ activities.
In the interview, which took place Thursday, Gates was asked “about another issue that has come up and again … about the phone security companies [sic] that have been operating in Iraq, in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. Xe International, formerly known as Blackwater or Data Corp. Under what rules are they operating here in Pakistan?”

“Well, they’re operating as individual companies here in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and in Iraq,” Gates replied. “If they’re contracting with us or with the State Department here in Pakistan, then there are very clear rules set forth by the State Department and by ourselves.”

“This appears to be a contradiction of previous statements made by the Defense Department, by Blackwater, by the Pakistani government and by the US embassy in Islamabad, all of whom claimed Blackwater was not in the country,” investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill wrote.

In November, Scahill reported that Blackwater is operating out of a covert US operating base in Karachi, where it “plan[s] targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, ’snatch and grabs’ of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan.”

In December, the UK’s Guardian reported that Blackwater guards are patrolling a CIA airbase in Baluchistan province.

Gates’ comments have sent Pakistan’s legislature into an uproar, with at least one government official denying knowledge of Gates’ remarks.

Pakistan has been rife with rumors in recent years about private security contractors operating on the country’s soil, and “about purported US plots to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and build permanent American military bases,” as the Wall Street Journal puts it.

“Mr. Gates himself may have inadvertently helped fuel a new rumor,” the Journal stated.

Defense officials tried to clarify the comment Thursday night, telling reporters that Mr. Gates had been speaking about contractor oversight more generally and that the Pentagon didn’t employ Xe [a.k.a. Blackwater] in Pakistan.
It was too late, however. By Friday morning, an array of Pakistani newspapers, television stations and radio programs reported that “Blackwater” had begun operating in Pakistan as well, citing Mr. Gates’s comments.


Whether it was a mistake or an unintentional admission, Gates’ comments are certain to complicate efforts by the US to prod Pakistan into refocusing away from its long-time rival, India, to the Taliban presence on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

To that end, the US has announced it will provide Pakistan with a dozen Shadow drones, smaller cousins of the Predator drones the US uses in air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the New York Times reports.

The US has also announced a new strategy for the war effort that focuses on the “re-integration” of Taliban fighters into mainstream society. The effort will be led by Afghan President Karzai. In discussing the plans Friday, Karzai “spoke about offering money and jobs to tempt Taliban fighters to lay down their arms and return to civilian life,” according to Pakistan’s Dawn Media Group.








Related Articles
Biden says US will appeal case of Blackwater/XE mercs
Judge throws out Blackwater Manslaughter charges
Blackwater Guards Tied to Secret Raids by the C.I.A.
Blackwater’s Erik Prince to step down, reveals CIA role
Scahill: Obama may be afraid of Blackwater
Exposed: American Police Force Is A Blackwater Front Group
Blackwater Tapped Foreigners For Secret CIA Program
Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder
Blackwater Back in Business as Usual
Webster Tarpley: Obama Declares War On Pakistan
Webster Tarpley - "Who's to blame for attacks in Pakistan?" (Video)
9/11 passport 'found in Pakistan'
Clinton Says 9/11 Ringleaders Are In Pakistan
What is the Unites States preparing in Pakistan?


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden’s submarine war against Germany – Rear-Admiral confesses to armed robbery
2014 04 15
On April 8, 2014, Swedish combat forces stormed the HQ of German submarine builder Thyssen’s offices in Sweden and walked away with blueprints for the next generation submarine A26. Immediately after the event, the head of security at Thyssen was fired. Aside one or two initial reports about what in effect was an armed robbery, a blanket of silence has been put ...
Black Ring Above England: New Evidence
2014 04 15
New explanations for the ’black ring’ as seen in England this week have been submitted by members since we highlighted the case. [Experts baffled after strange black ring appears in sky above England] As otherworldly a phenomenon it seems to be, it’s almost certainly due to very worldly reasons. Officials are still stumped as to the origin of the ring as recorded by ...
Sars Research Lab Loses 2,000 Tubes of Killer Virus
2014 04 15
A prestigious research institute in France said it had lost thousands of tubes of samples of the deadly Sars coronavirus. A routine inventory check at Paris’ Pasteur Institute revealed that 2,349 tubes containing fragments of the virus responsible for the deaths of 774 people in 2002 were missing, the centre named after French chemist Louis Pasteur said. The institute was quick to ...
10 odd facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination
2014 04 15
It was 149 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up. Why wasn’t General Ulysses S. Grant in the theater box with Lincoln, as scheduled? Where was the President’s bodyguard? How many people were targeted in ...
Dag Hammarskjöld Assassination: Plane may have been shot down
2014 04 15
Newly declassified 1961 cable called for grounding of Belgian mercenary hours after UN secretary general crashed in Africa Hours after a plane carrying the UN secretary general, Dag Hammarskjöld, crashed over central Africa in September 1961, the US ambassador to Congo sent a cable to Washington claiming that the aircraft could have been shot down by a Belgian mercenary pilot. In the ...
More News »