Blackwater Worldwide is planning to expand its military-training business in California. This outfit has made a financial killing in the Iraq war and it looks like it expects more business there. Virginia Senator James Webb is holding up the approval of four civilian defense officials until he gets more information from Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the Blackwater training facility in Otay Mesa, California. Senator Webb, a former Navy secretary, is potentially a formidable foe for companies like Blackwater. He has helped establish a commission that will investigate wartime contracting.
In May, San Diego city officials tried to halt Blackwater from opening a training facility because of permit issues and concerns about an indoor shooting range in an industrial area near the U.S.-Mexico border. Blackwater, which filed suit and opened the center anyway, claims it needs a West Coast foothold so it can teach U.S. sailors how to defend ships against terrorist attacks. The company also says it will provide other training for law enforcement and the U.S. military. I have to wonder how much the federal government has paid politically-connected Blackwater under no-bid contracts.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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