State’s Upcoming Blackwater Announcement

From State’s DipNote blog:

Look tomorrow (9/28) for an announcement naming experts outside of the State Department who will be part of the Washington-based review on personal security contractor operations in Iraq that was announced last week. Secretary Rice decided 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 a 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 panel will then make a set of recommendations to Secretary Rice several weeks from now. About the review, she said that she wants "…it to be 360 [degrees], to be serious, and to be really probing."

A change from the normal story-telling, DipNote offers a (new) media alert. I don’t expect to be asked to be named onto this team, not because I’m not in Washington and not because I’m not a widely known expert (if I’m an expert at all), but because of my (possibly overly) harsh criticism of State and its role in the Blackwater imbroglio. I look forward to reading who is on this team.

Can I add this is at least 3 years too late or is that too much to say? What about if I mention that a few friends, including former Blackwater personnel, reminded me that BW used to have cameras in their vehicles back when they were running Mambas. Also, vehicle cams caught the infamous "Elvis" video and the famous ERSM video (famous if you’ve followed the industry in Iraq for more than a month or a year). But that was before State took over…