Cablegate: Implementation of Recommendations On Personal


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.

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