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StateSide:Policy
Smackdown
Waxman Launches New Volley at State Department
Oversight Chairman Demands Answers About Contractor in Christmas Eve Shooting
10/05/2007 7:03 PM ET
House Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman is not letting up the heat, firing off a new letter to the State Department Friday after CNN reported that the Blackwater contractor who shot a bodyguard of Iraqi Vice-President Adel Abdul Mehdi in December 2006 was back to work for another contractor within a couple of months.

After being expelled from the country following the shooting incident, Andrew J. Moonen returned to Kuwait in February, working for a Defense Department contractor, Combat Support Associates.

The chairman of the House committee on oversight and government reform writes to Secretary Rice that, "It is hard to reconcile this development with the State Department's claim that 'We are scrupulous in terms of oversight and scrutiny not only of Blackwater but all of our contractors.'"

Waxman slams the State Department failure to inform the Defense Department about the reasons for Moonen's dismissal, and with this hits on a key problem regarding contractors.

If a security contractor gets kicked off one contract there is always another one out there needing warm bodies. The new employer may do standard background checks, but that only canvasses for legal infractions.

Waxman writes that the measures State testified to taking to ensure contractors who got kicked off of the WPPS contract did not return to the WPPS contract were "apparently insufficient to prevent Mr. Moonen from securing re-employment in the Iraq War."

But of course, the WPPS contract is only one of many in the war.

Waxman requested the State Department submit all the documentation it has regarding the Christmas Eve shooting and Andrew Moonen, and in a separate letter to Combat Support Associates asks for their records on the contractor.

Here's Waxman's full letter

20071005153354.pdf

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