After months of angry denials and accusing Pakistani media outlets reporting the story of engaging in “conspiracy theories,” the United States government has finally come clean about Blackwater forces operating in Pakistan, in the form of an interview by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on local Pakistani television.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson even got a September article in Pakistan’s “The News International” pulled because it made reference to Blackwater employees operating in Pakistan.
Not that the revelation came as a surprise: local and international media outlets have repeatedly confirmed Blackwater personnel operating there, including forces in Blackwater uniforms patrolling the streets of Peshawar’s University Town. It was just that the US and Pakistani governments continued to lie about it officially.
The admission could pose problems for Pakistan’s government, as Interior Minister Rehman Malik repeatedly mocked the reports of Blackwater’s presence, and even pledged to resign if it turned out Blackwater was actually in the country. He has yet to comment on the revelation, however.