Deadly Cowboys

Blackwater USA is a private military contractor facing a federal U.S. grand jury investigation for the shooting of Iraqi citizens. The company recently hit the headlines after its personnel opened fire on Iraqi civilians in September, killing 17. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the company has "hired a bipartisan stable of big-name Washington lawyers, lobbyists and press advisers" including, for a short time, the PR company Burson-Marsteller. Blackwater's main lobbyist is Paul Behrends, from the Washington DC lobbying firm C & M Capitolink. Blackwater "has paid his company $300,000 since last year," John M. Broder and James Risen reported. Mark Corallo, the founder of Corallo Media Strategies, quit working for Blackwater last year. "The reason they get the caricature that’s been created is that they do have a few cowboys in their midst," he said.