Infamous military contractor Blackwater Worldwide (also known as Blackwater USA and now Xe) has previously been accused of corruption, murder and illegal arms smuggling.
Well, now you can add bribery to that list:
Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.
Though President Obama was only inaugurated yesterday, the Senate has already confirmed six of his cabinet appointees:
- Energy Secretary Stephen Chu
- Education Secretary Arne Duncan
- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Hillary Clinton would be on that list except for the fact that newly-minted NRSC head John Cornyn is demanding a floor debate on her confirmation, despite the fact that Clinton sailed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is as close to a shoo-in as any cabinet appointee could be.
There’s nothing the GOP gains by mucking up Clinton’s confirmation–she’s going to be approved no matter what and no amount of trumped-up right-wing vitriol will change that or undermine her authority as Secretary of State. Here the GOP is just obstructing for obstruction’s sake, which is pretty much going to be their playbook for the next few years.
This incident does teach us two important lessons, though. First, Republicans have always hated the Clintons and only ever pretended to like Hillary in order to undermine Obama. Two, the GOP doesn’t agree with Obama that “the time has come to set aside childish things;” in fact, Senate Republicans are basing their entire legislative strategy on childish things.