(Washington D.C.) Ucs News–The US Secret Service said on Friday it will renew Blackwater USA’s licence to protect Arizona Senator John McCain for one year, but a final decision is pending whether the private security company will keep the job. Campaign officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Friday that the senator is mulling over whether he will accept Blackwater security protection in the general election.
Although the 71-year-old McCain has acknowledged that a modern American chief executive must have some sort of protection, he has so far refused to accept the Blackwaters protective measures. A top Secret Service official said that because the FBI is investigating 2007’s fatal shooting of civilians, there is no justification now to pull the contract when it comes due in May. Blackwater has a five-year deal to provide personal protection Republican Politicians , which is reauthorised each year.
The state department uses Blackwater to guard diplomats in Baghdad, where the sprawling US embassy is headquartered. The private guards act as bodyguards and armed drivers, escorting government officials when they go outside the fortified Green Zone. In this capacity Blackwater has experience protecting the Arizona Senator. Blackwater provided 150 men to protect McCain during his afternoon stroll through a Baghdad Market. A stroll according to the US state department that cost US tax payers over 6 million dollars for the 30 minute photo opportunity.
Critics contend Blackwater is the wrong choice for McCain security contract. While Secret Service officials claim Blackwater is the best suited of the job, many inside the service are concerned the US civilian body count may damage the Arizona Senator’s chances in November.
Blackwater chief Erik Prince, a long time supporter of Senator McCain stated, “It may not be in the best interest of the country to protect McCain, but the future of Blackwater USA depends on the policies McCain supports.”