Darrell Issa | Serving California's 49th District

Following Failed Attack on General Petraeus, Democrat Committee Hearing Switches Target to Private Contractor

October 2, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa, today, accused House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Democrats of holding a hearing on private military contractor Blackwater USA as part of an ongoing partisan smear campaign against U.S. efforts in Iraq.
“MoveOn.org’s recent smear campaign against General David Petraeus failed so now anti-war Democrats are targeting Blackwater as a political stand-in for direct attacks against General Petraeus and our military,” said Issa.
“This is not about Blackwater,” Issa stated during the hearing.  “What they couldn’t do to our men and women in uniform, they’ll simply switch targets.”
The timing of the hearing, Issa explained, follows a September 16 incident in Iraq currently under investigation and is intended to produce headlines rather than conduct real oversight responsibilities.
Issa also criticized a report issued October 1, 2007, by Committee Democrats, saying it exposed the hearing as politically motivated.  Page five of the report noted that Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, “served as a Whitehouse intern” in the 1980s under President George H.W. Bush as well as summarizing political donations made by Prince’s father and sister.
“Allegations of wrong-doing against any contractor in Iraq need to be investigated and those guilty of wrongdoing must be appropriately punished,” said Issa.  “House Committees are not cops or prosecutors.  The Committee on Oversight and Government is neglecting opportunities to conduct needed oversight on government abuse and inefficiency in order to further a political agenda.”