Friday, December 11, 2009
Blackwater "never under contract to participate"
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Xe Services, said Blackwater was never under contract to participate in covert raids with CIA or Special Forces troops "in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else." Corallo added: "Any allegation to the contrary by any news organization would be false."
Some requests from the field for lethal raids were rejected at CIA headquarters because they posed excessive risks to the U.S. teams or to civilians, or because intelligence experts merely wanted to keep watching the prospective targets.
But when the time came to carry out those raids -- often against figures who were thought to be al-Qaeda leaders -- some CIA field officers assigned responsibilities among the available personnel without regard to which ones were contractors or federal employees, according to the source, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss classified operations.
That meant Blackwater personnel helped to kill some of the targets and did not merely defend the CIA officers taking part in the raids, the source said.
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