Blackwater by Numbers: A Statistical Index


In a rare appearance before Congress yesterday, Blackwater founder and CEO Erik Prince answered questions about his company’s operations in Iraq; by mutual agreement, details of the September 16 shootings in Baghdad, which reportedly left 17 Iraqis dead and another 24 wounded, were not discussed. The following statistics were culled from Prince’s testimony, as well as from various internal Blackwater documents obtained by Congressional investigators.

  • Total number of Blackwater “movements” (i.e. protected convoys) In Iraq since 2005: 16,000
  • Number of movements in 2006: 6,058
  • Number of times Blackwater operators fired their weapons in anger: 38
  • Number of reported movements so far in 2007: 1,873
  • Number of times Blackwater operators fired their weapons in anger: 56
  • Percentage increase: 400
  • Number of Blackwater operators killed in Iraq: 27
  • Number of Blackwater-escorted dignitaries killed in Iraq: 0
  • Number of warnings given before Blackwater operators shoot to kill oncoming drivers: 7 (lights, sirens, air horns, hand signals, pen flares, shots to oncoming car’s radiator, “spider web” shot to windshield)
  • Average compensation paid by U.S. military to families of Iraqis killed by mistake: $3,000
  • Compensation paid by Blackwater for “random death” of an “innocent Iraqi citizen” in 2005: $5,000
  • Extra compensation: $2,000, “given the nature of the incident,” followed by the fact that the Blackwater operator “failed to report the incident, causing the family additional pain.”
  • Compensation paid to family of an Iraqi vice presidential guard killed by a drunken Blackwater operator in the Green Zone last Christmas Eve: $20,000
  • Penalty exacted on Blackwater operator: Termination of employment, cost of plane ticket back to U.S. ($1,630), and forfeiture of outstanding pay ($7,067), of Fourth of July bonus ($3,000), and of Christmas bonus ($3,000)
  • Total financial penalty for killing Iraqi vice presidential guard: $14,697
  • Compensation originally suggested by a State Department official in response to Blackwater’s accidental killing of an Iraqi bystander in December 2006: $250,000
  • Compensation actually paid: $15,000
  • Blackwater’s reasoning: “A sum this high will set a terrible precedent. This could cause incidents with people trying to get killed by our guys to financially guarantee their family’s future.”
  • Number of security companies now operating in Iraq: 170
  • Value of Blackwater’s federal contracts in 2001: $736,906
  • Value in 2002: $3.4 million
  • Value in 2003: $25 million
  • Value in 2004: $48 million
  • Value in 2005: $352 million
  • Value in 2006: $593 million
  • Total value of all Blackwater contracts at the end of 2006: $1 billion
  • Percentage growth since 2001: 80,453
  • Current number of Blackwater’s federal contracts, according to Erik Prince: “More than 50.”
  • Percentage of Blackwater holding company Prince Group’s revenue derived from federal contracts: 90
  • Number of Blackwater helicopters downed in Iraq in 2006: 3
  • Average daily pay for a Blackwater operator, according to Erik Prince: $500
  • Daily pay, according to government invoices: $1,221.62
  • Number of State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security agents in Iraq: 36
  • Number of Blackwater operators in Iraq, primarily engaged in guarding U.S. diplomats: 1,000
  • Number of Blackwater administrative support staff for company’s Iraq operations: 50
  • Blackwater tooth-to-tail ratio (i.e. number of trigger pullers to support and administrative staff): 20:1
  • U.S. military tooth-to-tail ratio, according to Erik Prince: Anywhere from 1:8 to 1:12
  • Blackwater’s profit margin: 10.5 percent
  • Erik Prince’s income in 2006: “More than a million dollars.”
  • Amount Erik Prince has contributed to the GOP and Republican candidates: $225,000
  • Number of Erik Prince’s sons, heirs to the Blackwater fortune: 5
  • Slogan chanted by Code Pink protesters as Erik Prince departed hearing: “War criminal”
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