Senate Panel Finds Lawless Blackwater Contractors

A Senate investigation has found that lax oversight of Blackwater contractors contributed to the death of two Afghan civilians and fed anti-Western sentiment.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will convene a hearing on Wednesday looking into circumstances surrounding a May 2009 shooting that killed two Afghans and injured a third.

Levin says the Army turned a blind eye when a Blackwater subsidiary known as Paravant hired violent drug users to help train the Afghan army and declared "sidearms for everyone" even though employees weren't authorized to carry weapons.

The senator said he wants to determine who should be held accountable for the gaps in oversight that led to the 2009 shooting and what should happen to prevent future incidents.

Blackwater, now known as XE, is based in Currituck County.

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