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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD357 2008-02-07 07:07 2010-11-30 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Appears in these articles:

DE RUEHGB #0357/01 0380739
P 070739Z FEB 08
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 000357 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2018 

REF: A. A. 07 BAGHDAD 03668 
B. B. 07 BAGHDAD 03764 
C. C. 07 BAGHDAD 03767 
D. D. 07 BAGHDAD 04001 
E. E. 08 BAGHDAD 00248 

Classified By: Patricia Butenis, Charge, for reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d) 


1. (C) This cable is the third update of Embassy Baghdad,s 
implementation of the relevant eighteen recommendations of 
the Secretary,s Panel on Protective Services. The following 
recommendations have been implemented by Post (reftel D): 

A. (C) Kennedy Recommendation 12 - Joint Review Board 
B. (C) Kennedy Recommendation 17- Direct RSO Engagement with 
GOI Police and Security Officials; 
C. (C) Kennedy Recommendation 18 - RSO Response Team 
Facilitation to Embassy Claims Program. 

2. (C) Embassy Baghdad has made significant progress on 
recommendations 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 16 as outlined 
in this cable. Recommendations 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 15 require 
Department action. 

3. (C) This cable also provides an update on the Department 
of State-Department of Defense Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) 
on private security companies, proposed Iraqi legislation 
concerning Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17, and 
Embassy and Blackwater condolence payments in connection with 
the September 16 incident. End Summary. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Recommendation 2 - DOD and DOS Discussions with GOI on New 
Regulatory Framework for USG Private Security Contractors 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

4. (C) STATUS: ONGOING. The legal status of DOD contractors, 
including private security contractors, will be part of the 
negotiations between the USG and the GOI on a Status of 
Forces (SOFA) agreement expected to begin this month. The 
Department of State will seek to obtain similar agreement on 
immunities and related issues for DOS contractors separately. 

Kennedy Recommendation 4 ) Recommendation for Continued 
Contract Services of Blackwater 

5. (C) STATUS: ONGOING. FBI investigation of the September 
16 incident has not concluded. However, the Blackwater 
contract expires in May 2008 and a decision on renewal may 
have to be made before the FBI investigation concludes. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Kennedy Recommendation 5 - RSO to be provided with DS Agents 
Staffing to Accompany PPS Movements 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

6. (C) STATUS: NEAR COMPLETION. Assistant Regional Security 
Officers (ARSOs) and TDY DS Special Agents (SAs) are assigned 
to command each Chief of Mission (COM) Personal Security 
Detail (PSD) operating in the Baghdad area under the WPPS 
contract. Fifty-two Special Agent positions and positions 
related to the oversight of all DOS Private Security 
Contractors (PSCs) in Iraq have been requested (reftel E) to 
include RSO coverage of non-RSO Chief of Mission (COM) PSD 
movements and coverage outside Baghdad. In late March, the 
first group of approximately 12 new Special Agents will 
arrive after completing training. This first group will be 
assigned to Regional Embassy Offices (REOs) and the Regional 
and Provincial Reconstruction Teams where DS has PSD 
responsibilities. In the short term, Post continues to 
maintain a staffing increase for this requirement through the 
use of DS TDY personnel. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Kennedy Recommendation 8 - Revisions to the Embassy Rules For 
the Use of Force 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

7. (C) STATUS: COMPLETED. The Baghdad Mission Firearms 
Policy has been revised and issued. The Rules for the Use of 
Force have been modified to make the language consistent with 
the common principles outlined in the DOS-DOD MOA. 

8. (C) To reduce the number of lethal force incidents, Post 
has procured 24 Dazzlers. A Dazzler is a non-lethal 
light-emitting weapon designed for use against perceived 
vehicle threats as part of the graduated force response. On 

February 20, instructors will initiate training to all PSD 
teams on its proper application. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Kennedy Recommendation 9 - Video Recording Equipment in 
Vehicles and Recording of Radio Communications 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

Engineering Officers (SEOs) are installing the approved 
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system into PSD vehicles in 
Baghdad. Each COM motorcade traveling into the Red Zone now 
has at least one vehicle with a camera system installed. A 
second installation team is arriving this week to continue 
the installation. The entire project is scheduled to 
continue through the spring with the short term goal of 
having at least two vehicles in every motorcade operating 
with cameras. Nearly 400 COM vehicles throughout Iraq will 
have cameras installed upon the completion of the project. 
Initial experience with the cameras has been very positive. 

10. (C) IRM procured, built and tested a system that can 
simultaneously record 32 radio channels. The system is in 
the delivery stage. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Kennedy Recommendation 10 - Vehicle Identification Numbering 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

11. (C) STATUS: NO CHANGE. RSO has engaged MNF-I on this 
issue and reviewed the operational security (OPSEC) concerns 
with respect to readable vehicle number signage. It is the 
collective assessment of the Embassy and MNF-I that a vehicle 
numbering system is only viable if all USG PSDs adopt the 
same numbering scheme and non-USG PSDs also agree to 
voluntarily adopt the same system. MNF-I is not inclined to 
support a numbering system solely for US Embassy Baghdad PSCs 
as it may offer enemy forces the ability to identify them as 
such and bring greater risk to COM movements. Post 
recommends that this recommendation be reconsidered in light 
of the extensive communications and de-confliction measures 
that have been put into effect by RSO, MNF-I, and MNC-I which 
are proving to be effective. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Kennedy Recommendation 11 - Investigations and RSO Response 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

a Force Investigation Unit (FIU) consisting of a dedicated 
FIU supervisor and ARSO. The FIU currently draws upon other 
RSO personnel as needed. The PSD Serious Incident 
Investigation Handbook is in the DS approval process. RSO 
has requested Special Agent and contract investigator 
resources to fully staff this unit to 14 persons. The FIU 
will be responsible for the investigation of all serious 
incidents involving DOS-affiliated PSCs to include Tier I and 
Tier II private security contractors. Position descriptions 
have been written and funding is being pursued. The first 
meeting of the Embassy and MNFI Joint Incident Review Board 
will be conducted on February 12. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Kennedy Recommendation 13 - RSO AND MNF-I Procedures for 
Coordination, Liaison, and Operational De-confliction 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

13. (C) STATUS: AWAITING RSO LNO TO THE Multinational Corps 
) Iraq (MNC-I)Joint Operations Center (JOC). RSO, MNF-I and 
MNC-I have developed commonly agreed operational procedures, 
liaison coordination and exchange of information, and a 
process for swift resolution of issues of mutual interest. 
RSO participates in the MNF-I Strategic Operations daily 
briefing and presents data on planned COM protective missions 
for the next 24 hours. An MNC-I liaison officer (LNO) was 
added to the RSO TOC and has been fully integrated into the 
RSO TOC's operations. The LNO provides enhanced visibility to 
MNC-I on PSD movements outside the IZ and serves as the focal 
point for coordination and situational awareness between RSO 
and battle space owners in Baghdad. An RSO LNO has been 
identified and will be assigned to the MNC-I Joint Operations 
Center to enhance coordination between the Embassy and MNC-I. 

Kennedy Recommendation 14 ) PRC 152 Radios 

14. (C) The procurement of additional communication 
capabilities is underway, with the arrival of the Harris PRC 
152 handheld radio system expected by the end of February. 
These radios give PSDs the ability to contact military units 

directly in the field to de-conflict issues or request 
medical evacuation and quick reaction forces. 

--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Kennedy Recommendation 16 - GOI-US Joint Commission Working 
Group on PSC Licensing and Transparency 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

15. (C) STATUS: ONGOING. The Embassy, represented by the 
RSO, and the Multinational Forces ) Iraq (MNF-I), 
represented by the Chief of the Contractor Policy and 
Oversight Division (CPOD), continue to hold regular joint 
working group meetings with the Chief, Private Security 
Regulatory Division, Ministry of Interior, and his staff to 
address topics of mutual concern. Four meetings have been 
held to date. 

--------------------------------------------- -------- 
Completion of Negotiations on the DOS-DOD MOA on PSCs 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 

16. (C) The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on private security 
companies, negotiated by the Embassy and MNF-I, was signed by 
the Deputies for State and Defense on December 5, 2007. 

Embassy Condolence Payments Continue 

17. (C) On November 26, 2007, the Deputy Chief of Mission, 
Acting RSO, and Acting Embassy Legal Adviser made condolence 
payments to one Iraqi who had been injured and to the widow 
and brother of an Iraqi who had been killed in the September 
16 incident. All claimants accepted the payments. In 
addition, the Iraqi who suffered an injury informed the DCM 
that he had been punished for his absence at work when he was 
recovering from his injury. The DCM apologized and offered 
to write a letter to his employer explaining the cause of his 
absence, which was provided to the claimant at a later date. 

18. (C) On December 27, 2007, the Deputy Chief of Mission, 
RSO, and Acting Embassy Legal Adviser made condolence 
payments to three Iraqis who had been injured and the widow 
of an Iraqi who had been killed in the incident. All 
claimants accepted the payments. The Embassy is continuing 
to work to obtain contact information for all of the 
potential claimants from the September 16 incident and plans 
to make additional payments in the future as it locates those 
claimants. To date, the Embassy has paid 132,500 dollars to 
claimants: 40,000 dollars to the families of 4 killed, 65,000 
dollars to 13 injured, and 27,500 dollars to 11 claimants for 
vehicle damage. 

Blackwater Condolence Payments 

19. (C) On January 18, 2007, the DCM and RSO met with 
Blackwater representatives and were briefed on Blackwater,s 
intentions to make condolence payments to the victims of the 
September 16 Nisur Square incident and to obtain an operating 
license from the Ministry of Interior. In a change from 
Blackwater's previous position, the representatives said that 
Blackwater has hired a number of Iraqi attorneys, including 
one who has had significant experience dealing with MNFI on 
Iraqi claims cases, to work with local courts on payment 
issues and plans to follow procedures for payments as 
determined by local laws and regulations. Blackwater has set 
aside "a generous pot" of money for these payments and the 
Iraqi attorneys will be contacting survivors and relatives of 
the deceased. Representatives said that they intended to make 
payments to all claimants, including those with lawsuits 
pending in the United States, largely because they did not 
expect those lawsuits to be successful. They also said that 
they would take into account the specific requests and 
circumstances of the claimants where possible. 

20. (C) Blackwater is also moving ahead with efforts to 
obtain an operating license from the Ministry of Interior 
(MOI), and said that through their lawyers' communications 
with the MOI they were told that Prime Minister Maliki would 
approve the licensing of Blackwater if condolence payments 
are made. They have received this same assurance from 
members of the Ministry of Interior responsible for 

21. (C) The DCM told Blackwater that the Embassy believed it 
was morally correct for Blackwater to make condolence 
payments. She also indicated that while the Embassy welcomes 
this action by Blackwater, it will not have any effect on the 
DOS/Embassy decision on whether to retain Blackwater, and 
that in regards to the MOI licensing issue, under no 
circumstances could the Embassy approve of or in any way be 

part of a bribery effort. The Blackwater representatives 
indicated that they understood and that the process would be 
straightforward and transparent. 

22. (C) In follow-up communications with Blackwater, RSO 
provided a list of all known victims and their available 
contact information. As of January 31, Blackwater's Iraqi 
attorneys had been able to contact family members of 6 of the 
deceased victims, and 12 of the victims that had suffered 
injuries and/or property damage. They continue to reach out 
to the additional victims (about 20 more) and have enlisted 
the help of the Iraqi Police to locate the victims for which 
there is no contact information (Note: Blackwater has agreed 
to provide the Embassy with contact information for any 
victims they are able to locate but for which the Embassy did 
not have contact information or were not able to locate. The 
Embassy will make its own payments to any additional victims 
that it is able to locate in this manner. End Note.) 
Blackwater said that on February 1, 2008, their Iraqi 
attorneys would begin to meet with each of the victims to 
express their sympathy and to interview them to subsequently 
craft an individual condolence payment amount for each 
victim. On average, Blackwater said it expects they will pay 
at least twice as much as what the Embassy paid and 
substantially more for victims or families that were more 
significantly impacted by the incident. As an example, he 
cited a family that lost their bread winner, a man who was 
already supporting the families of four of his brothers whom 
had been killed as a result of sectarian violence. 

CPA 17 Draft Law 
23. (C) There has been no change in the status of the draft 
law to repeal CPA Order 17. The Council of Ministers 
approved a draft law and voted to send it to the Council of 
Representatives, but to date the draft has not yet been 
transmitted to the CoR. Once submitted, the law could pass 
in as little as one to two weeks given existing procedures. 
There has not, however, been much discussion on this draft 
law in recent weeks. We have engaged the GOI in an effort to 
prevent the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs from 
submitting the proposed legislation to the CoR. In meetings 
with and in letters to GOI officials, we have highlighted the 
steps that the Embassy has taken to implement the Kennedy 
Report recommendations, the Memorandum of Agreement between 
the Department of State and Department of Defense on USG PSDs 
that was recently signed, and the ongoing FBI investigation 
into the September 16 incident.