The State Department awarded more than a billion dollars in funding to the security firm Blackwater and its later incarnations even after one of the company's top officials allegedly threatened a government investigator's life, a review by The Huffington Post has shown.
The New York Times revealed last week that the State Department's chief investigator reported being threatened by a Blackwater official in Iraq in August 2007. The investigator said project manager Daniel Carroll told him "that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq."
Officials at the American embassy in Baghdad later asked the investigators conducting the Blackwater probe to leave. A few weeks later, in September, Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians. A criminal trial for four of the guards is currently underway.
And yet, the threat did little to stop the spigot of contract money that headed Blackwater's way. Between the date it was reportedly made, Aug. 21, and the end of September, the State Department designated over $269 million in funding for the firm, records show. In return, Blackwater provided training and protective services for the department in Iraq, Afghanistan, China and the United States. Some of the largest of those expenditures were approved after the shooting but were tied to contracts that had been signed previously.