Blackwater convoys to be monitored by surveillance, Rice says
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has ordered that Blackwater convoys transporting private contractors, supplies and weapons around Iraq be monitored by video surveillance after several controversial incidents involving Blackwater contractors in Iraq.
Blackwater contractors have stoked the fires of Iraqi controversy lately, with 11 Iraqis dying on September 16th and the hands of private contractors. This incident, along with other tales of wasted money, brutality and lack of oversight have spawned intense criticism for Blackwater participation in the war.
Under Rice's new program, surveillance cameras monitoring convoys would be part of a program with the aim of exercising tighter control over Blackwater employees in Iraq. Convoys would also be accompanied by diplomatic security guards. Along with monitoring contractor actions, the cameras are hoped to establish closer relations with government agents and private contractors and increase accountability for both parties.
This is a classic aim of video surveillance - monitoring to prevent crime and increase accountability. Like retail stores and schools, this program is aimed at reducing problems. Ms. Rice's program will start immediately.