Blackwater founder defends his guards' actions in Iraq

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The founder of a security firm that's come under scrutiny for its record in Iraq is vigorously defending the company.

Erik Prince of Blackwater USA tells Congress that 30 of its contractors have been killed while trying to defend U.S. diplomats in Iraq. And he says no Americans have died while in the company's protection.

His remarks were prepared for a congressional hearing today. It comes in the wake of a September 16th shootout in which 11 Iraqis died.

Prince maintains that his guards were responding to hostile fire during that incident.

Prince is a native of Holland, Michigan. His sister is former Michigan state Republican Party Chair Betsy DeVos, who is married to Amway heir Dick DeVos.

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