A report prepared by the staff of committee chair Rep. Henry Waxman, released details from Blackwater's own reports of multiple incidents involving Iraqi casualties and said in most instances (84%) Blackwater fired first. State Department rules say Blackwater's actions should be defensive rather than offensive.
The memorandum also slammed the State Department's oversight of Blackwater and said it was often more interested in getting the company to pay off victims' families and "put the matter behind us" than in investigating what happened.
In a shooting incident on Dec. 24, 2006, a security guard for Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi was killed by an allegedly drunken Blackwater contractor, who was then flown out of the country and faced no charges, the memorandum said.
The State Department's charge d'affaires recommended Blackwater pay $250,000 and give an "apology." Waxman noted the State Department's diplomatic security said that was too much and would cause Iraqis to "try to get killed." Eventually Blackwater agreed on a $15,000 payment.
In another incident where Blackwater shooters killed an "innocent Iraqi," Waxman said the State Department requested only a $5,000 payment to "put this unfortunate matter behind us quickly."