Middle East

New Rules For Blackwater Revealed By Military – Department Of State And DOD Agree On Oversight of Private Contractors

New Rules For Blackwater Revealed By Military – Department Of State And DOD Agree On Oversight of Private Contractors

Gates on Right
Tuesday DOD

(Best Syndication) After months of scrutiny, the Defense Department announced that all of the State Department convoys in Iraq will be under military oversight. In a meeting at the Pentagon Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates discussed proposals concerning control and coordination of private contractors in Iraq.

The two secretaries agreed that the military should oversee and coordinate the convoys, but the oversight is expected to be much broader incompassing other operations conducted by private contractors. The Department of Defense has been at odds with the State Department since an alleged shooting killed 17 Iraqis. On September 16th Iraqi authorities said that Blackwater employees shot and killed the Iraqi civilians while protecting a State Department convoy.

New Audio Tape By Osama Bin Laden May Be Effort To Smooth Out Differences Among Tribal Leaders and Al Qaeda

New Audio Tape By Osama Bin Laden May Be Effort To Smooth Out Differences Among Tribal Leaders and Al Qaeda

See Video Below

(Best Syndication) The Arab news organization Al-Jazeera released a new audio-tape apparently made by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. In the recording a voice that Al-Jazeera says sounds like Bin Laden tells Sunni insurgents in Iraq to unite and stand “shoulder to shoulder.”

The message may be a response to the effort by Sunni tribal leaders to distance them selves from Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). There have been reports that the US has been supplying weapons to Sunnis in Iraq who had been linked to Al Qaeda, thus prompting tribal leaders to shun the support of foreign fighters including Al Qaeda. Many tribal leaders have grown weary of the violence surrounding the terrorist group.

Russians Will Finish Iranian Nuclear Power Plant – Putin Promises To Help Defend Iran From Attack From The West

Russians Will Finish Iranian Nuclear Power Plant – Putin Promises To Help Defend Iran From Attack From The West

Bushehr

(Best Syndication) Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to help the Iranians complete their nuclear reactor at Bushehr and to help protect the country from an attack by the west. Russia has many economic ties to the Persian country, including the contract for a nuclear power plant. The London Times reports that in a private meeting after the Summit of Caspian Nations, Putin promised to “assist Iran’s peaceful nuclear program”.

Tony Halpin in Moscow reports that Russia is building Iran’s first atomic power plant in the port city of Bushehr. Although Russia has delayed the delivery of nuclear fuel because of a delay in payments by Iran, Russian media reports that Moscow had promised to complete the work on schedule.

Russian President Vladimir Putin To Attend Caspian Summit in Iran Despite Death Threats

Russian President Vladimir Putin To Attend Caspian Summit in Iraq Despite Death Threats

Putin

(Best Syndication) Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Tehran this week without despite security concerns. The TASS news agency reports did not give any details of the visit, but the Iranian presidential press service said Monday that he will arrive on Tuesday.

Putin has already confirmed he will make a stop in Iran after a summit in Germany. The purpose of his visit to Iran is to attend the second Caspian Summit. TASS reports that this is the first time that a Russian leader has visited the Iranian Capital since 1993. The summit is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday (October 15th and 16th).

Blackwater Employees May Be Prosecuted Under American Laws If Congress Has Their Way – Rule Changes Made

Blackwater Employees May Be Prosecuted Under American Laws If Congress Has Their Way – Rule Changes Made

Blackwater Logo

(Best Syndication) With popular support for the war in Iraq eroding and the recent allegations of bad-behavior and possible murder by Blackwater employees, the State Department announced a change in rules for private security firms operating under contract outside the US. The State Department has been using private paramilitary firms, including Blackwater, to buttress security for diplomats and both Iraqi and American government officials.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced a change in policy Friday concerning the procedures for these private security firms. From now on, special agents from the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security will ride along with Blackwater security details. This comes on the heels of a vote by the House of Representatives yesterday which may allow criminal prosecutions of private contractors.

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