The Justice Department is reportedly looking into whether private security firm/mercenary agency Blackwater Worldwide attempted to buy off Iraqi officials following a shooting rampage in Baghdad. Blackwater employees have so far escaped criminal charges for the Nisour Square massacre that killed 17 Iraqis.

The incident may have cost the company up to a million dollars in payouts, if an earlier report in The New York Times is to be believed.

Now called Xe Services, the company still does business with the U.S. government. — PZS

New York Times:

The investigation, which was confirmed by three current and former officials speaking on condition of anonymity, follows a report in The New York Times in November that top executives at Blackwater had authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials to buy their support after the shooting. The newspaper account said it could not determine whether any bribes were actually paid or identify Iraqi officials who might have received the money.

The Justice Department has obtained two documents from the State Department, which had security contracts with the company, that have raised questions about Blackwater’s efforts to influence Iraqi government officials after the Nisour Square shootings, according to two American officials familiar with the inquiry.

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