from THE NEW YORK TIMES, January 31, 2010:
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating whether officials of Blackwater Worldwide tried to bribe Iraqi government officials in hopes of retaining the firm’s security work in Iraq after a deadly shooting episode in 2007, according to current and former government officials . . .
. . . The investigation, which was confirmed by three current and former officials speaking on condition of anonymity, follows a report in The New York Times in November that top executives at Blackwater had authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials to buy their support after the shooting. The newspaper account said it could not determine whether any bribes were actually paid or identify Iraqi officials who might have received the money.
The Justice Department has obtained two documents from the State Department, which had security contracts with the company, that have raised questions about Blackwater’s efforts to influence Iraqi government officials after the Nisour Square shootings, according to two American officials familiar with the inquiry.
One document, a handwritten note, shows that a Blackwater representative told a senior official at the American Embassy in Baghdad that the company had hired a prominent Iraqi lawyer to help the firm make compensation payments to Iraqi victims of the shootings, a practice encouraged by the State Department.
According to the document, as described by the two government officials, the Blackwater official said the firm had hired the lawyer hoping that the lawyer’s close ties to top Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, would help Blackwater obtain a license to continue operating in Iraq . . .
Let's put this whole episode into some kind of perspective, this is the scene of Nisoor Square after the vehicle bomb went off, that immediately preceded the events of Sept 16, 2007:
A scene of disarray and destruction after the vehicle explosion. (ABC)