State makes an announcement on Blackwater… from the Blog

From DipNote, State’s new blog, State announces a team will go to Iraq:

Secretary Rice decided this today after a meeting with several senior advisors on the structure of the review. Pat Kennedy will lead a small team to Iraq early next week to begin establishing some baseline set of facts about these contractor operations and provide Secretary Rice with an interim report no later than next Friday. (Note: Pat has already done a lot of groundwork in Washington since last Friday when the review was announced.) The soon to be announced outside experts will also receive the report. I expect they will also travel to Iraq, either with Pat or separately, to conduct their own ground truth assessment. Meanwhile, Pat will continue his work, feeding his findings to the senior outside experts. Based on Pat’s work, as well as their own assessments, the independent panel will then make a set of recommendations to Secretary Rice several weeks from now. About the review, she said that she wants "…it be 360 [degrees], to be serious, and to be really probing."

Depending on how much time you grant USG to backfill using private resources before they decide they must really analyze the problem, this is 3 – 4 years late. But, it is a start.