I get media clips from my company in the email. this is one that i got.
i think the only way Robert Wood could come away from this looking dumber, was if he had a dunce cap on and his pants on backwards.
Excerpt From State Department Daily Press Briefing
Robert Wood/Acting Spokesman
January 29, 2009
QUESTION: About a month or two ago, there was an IG report that warned that Blackwater was likely going to lose its license to operate in Iraq. That has now happened. Considering that you guys have been aware of this impending decision for some time, I presume that contingency plans have been made. What are those? What are you going to do to protect your people?
MR. WOOD: Well, let me just say, first off, you know, contingency plans are obviously being looked at, but I think it was on January 23rd when the Ministry of Interior informed the Embassy in Baghdad that Blackwater’s applications for an operating license was not going to be approved. And so we’re going to encourage, of course, contractors working for us to comply with Iraqi law. We’re right now looking at the implications of this decision by the Iraqis for us. But let me just make clear that we will do everything necessary to make sure that our personnel have the security that they need.
QUESTION: Well, what do you mean you’re looking at the implications? Isn’t the implication that they can’t work there anymore and that you’re going to lose your main contractor?
MR. WOOD: Well, again, we’re looking at, you know, the decision and we’re going to study and see what the implications will be, and then we’ll go forward.
QUESTION: I’m sorry, maybe I’m being dense here, but it seems to me that the obvious implication that you should already be aware of is that Blackwater can’t work in Iraq anymore.
MR. WOOD: I understand the decision. They were not granted an operating license
QUESTION: What more is there to look at?
MR. WOOD: Well, we have to study and see what we’re going to do next.
QUESTION: Right. Well, but you’ve been – this building has known for some time that this decision is coming down the pike, so –
MR. WOOD: Right, right, but we don’t have a decision ready to announce. We have to –
QUESTION: So Robert, who is protecting them today?
MR. WOOD: I’ll have to take a look at that. I’m not certain. I haven’t had a chance to look into that, but I’ll get the – we’ll get you something on that. I have to see who’s actually on the ground doing it. I’m just not sure at this point.
QUESTION: Do you intend to comply or do you intend to tell Blackwater to – if you’re going to – if you – you said you’re --
MR. WOOD: We have to comply with Iraqi law, period.
QUESTION: Exactly. So that means that you can’t – that your guys cannot use Blackwater as – for security guards, so -
MR. WOOD: Well, again, we’re going to comply with the Iraqi decision. We have no choice but to do that. So we’re just right now trying to formulate how we’re going to go forward. But I just wanted to make clear that we’re going to do everything, you know, to make sure that our Embassy employees have the security they need.
QUESTION: How long do you have to comply? I mean, when does this take effect?
MR. WOOD: I don’t know, haven’t seen the details on that yet.
QUESTION: Wouldn’t you have decided how to go forward already since you knew it was coming?
MR. WOOD: Well, it’s not a question of knowing that it was coming. We wanted to make sure that we had a clear-cut response from the Iraqis, an official response. We have now – you know, we received that on January 23rd, as I said, and we’re looking at next steps. That’s about as much as I can give you at this point.
QUESTION: Would next steps be just, what, another contractor?
MR. WOOD: We’re looking at a variety of possibilities, but I’m not here to outline those possibilities at this point.
QUESTION: While you’re not here to outline the possibilities, wasn’t this contract part of the global contract where there were three that – companies that bid on the security? So couldn’t one of the other ones step in?
MR. WOOD: Well --
QUESTION: I mean, isn’t that the whole idea of having these massive contracts?
MR. WOOD: That’s a possibility, but we haven’t made a decision on how we’re going to go forward yet.
QUESTION: But you have two other contractors that are working in Iraq, DynCorp and Triple Canopy, right?
MR. WOOD: Right. That’s right.
QUESTION: So you could ostensibly just move Triple Canopy or DynCorp over, because you’ve done all the RFP work and other stuff, right?
MR. WOOD: Well, we haven’t made a decision as to how we’re going to go forward yet, as I said. So I really don’t have any more to give you on that.
QUESTION: Is there a temporary security in place? I mean --
MR. WOOD: Like I said, I’m going to find out and get an answer to that question, because I’m not sure at this point.
QUESTION: It seems to be a bit irresponsible for the State Department not to have a backup plan and especially since you knew this was coming.
MR. WOOD: I did not say the State Department didn’t have a backup plan, but I said we’re looking at options and we haven’t made a decision as to how we’re going to go forward.
QUESTION: Well, doesn’t it seem to be – I mean, wouldn’t it be appropriate to have had an idea in place so --
MR. WOOD: I’m not saying we don’t have ideas, you know.
QUESTION: Well, one that you were – had been approved and you were ready to go ahead with?
MR. WOOD: Matt, as I said, when we have something in terms of a way forward, we’ll certainly be happy to let you know. But at this point, we’re looking at our options, and that’s the prudent thing to do.