In an Oct. 19 letter to Blackwater chairman Erik Prince, Waxman did not
identify the allegedly stolen Iraqi aircraft. The House chairman said he
learned of the 2005 attempt from an unidentified military official, Middle East Newsline reported.
"According to a military official who has contacted the committee, in
2005 Blackwater attempted to transport at least two Iraqi military aircraft
out of Iraq," Waxman wrote. "The official stated that the Iraqi Ministry of
Defense attempted to reclaim the aircraft, but that Blackwater would not
The Iraqi Air Force contains 51 aircraft, comprised of U.S.-,
Australian- and Russian-origin platforms. The air fleet contains C-130 air
transports, SAMA-2000 light reconnaissance aircraft, Huey-2 helicopters and
"Please provide the committee with the following information:" the
letter continued, "all documents related to efforts by Blackwater to remove
Iraqi aircraft from Iraq and the current whereabouts of such aircraft."
Waxman gave Prince until Nov. 2 to produce the documents. The California
Democrat also demanded Blackwater contracts with the federal government,
Prince's personal earnings as well as compensation to Iraqis killed by
Blackwater security guards.
Blackwater, also under threat of expulsion by Iraq, said it would
cooperate with the House committee. Blackwater has been awarded some $1
billion in State Department security contracts in Iraq.
"In this tumultuous political climate, Blackwater Worldwide has taken
center stage, our services and ethics aggressively challenged with
misinformation and fabrications," Blackwater said in an appeal to supporters
on Wednesday. "While we can't ask that each supporter do everything,
Blackwater asks that everyone does something."