East County News Service
Photo, left: Carl Meyer, leader of successful "stop Blackwater" effort in Potrero at a 2008 victory celebration
July 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Blackwater, the private military contractor that has sparked considerably controversy through the years, is back in the headlines.Many East County residents recall the successful battle waged by residents in rural Potrero to prevent Blackwater from building a paramilitary training camp in San Diego's backcountry.
Potrero residents held a recall election and removed all five planning group members who voted for the Blackwater facility and staged a march through adjacent federal forest lands that would be threatened by the project, drawing international attention before Blackwater ultimately withdrew its plans.
Now, the New York Times reports that around that same time back in 2007, Blackwater blocked a State Department inquiry into allegations of violence against civilians in Iraq by the company’s personnel. The investigation was halted after Blackwater’s top manager in Iraq threatened that he “could kill” the government’s chief investigator—and that “no one could or would do anything about it” according to State Department reports, the New York Times article states.