People in Baghdad are still talking about what happened on September 16 - the day an incident involving the private security company Blackwater USA left at least 17 Iraqis dead. Ahmed Abdullah visited the scene in Nisour Square and talked to witnesses. One witness, an Iraqi soldier, told Ahmed that he tried to get Blackwater personnel to help the wounded. Instead, one of them took aim at the man and shot him in the chest.
- Hear more entries in Ahmed's Diary
Janessa Gans had regular contact with the private security company, Blackwater. Between 2003 and 2005 she was working in Iraq, and on many of her trips around the country she traveled in vehicles driven by Blackwater contractors. Janessa talks to Dick about both the professionalism and recklessness she experienced firsthand.
In her opinion, every time a Blackwater convoy passed through an Iraqi town, the company lowered the reputation of the United States in the eyes of Iraqis.
- Read an article Janessa wrote about her experiences with Blackwater
The Job Of A Contractor
Ken Sherrod went to Kuwait for the first time as a soldier with the Air Guard Security Forces. When he got the opportunity to go back as a private contractor in 2004, he took it. Ken spoke with Dick in May of 2006, when he had just returned after working for 2 years as a military contractor in Iraq. While he was there, Ken had to get a client to the airport - an extremely risky assignment. The vehicle he was in was shot at, but Ken got lucky: the bullets missed him by a few inches. Despite the many dangers, Ken said he'd be willing to go back.