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Robert Gates Confirms Blackwater in Pakistan

Rebel Reports - In an interview with the Pakistani TV station Express TV, Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed that the private security firms Blackwater and DynCorp are operating inside Pakistan. “They’re operating as individual companies here in Pakistan,” Gates said, according to a DoD transcript of the interview. “There are rules concerning the contracting companies. If they’re contracting with us or with the State Department here in Pakistan, then there are very clear rules set forth by the State Department and by ourselves.”

This appears to be a contradiction of previous statements made by the Defense Department, by Blackwater, by the Pakistani government and by the US embassy in Islamabad, all of whom claimed Blackwater was not in the country. In September, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, denied Blackwater’s presence in the country, stating bluntly, “Blackwater is not operating in Pakistan.” In December in The Nation magazine, I reported on Blackwater’s work for JSOC in Pakistan and on a subcontract with a private Pakistani security company. The Pentagon did not issue any clear public denials, and instead tried to pass the buck to the State Department, which in turn passed it to the US embassy, which in turn issued an unsigned statement saying the story was false. Read more.

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