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State Department security chief forced out over Blackwater incident: report

[JURIST] US State Department security chief Richard Griffin [official profile] submitted his resignation Wednesday under pressure following September's Blackwater USA [corporate website; JURIST archive] shooting of 17 Iraqis, according to AP citing unnamed officials. Griffin is assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the branch that oversees private security firms; his resignation will be effective November 1. Before becoming State Department security chief in mid-2005, Griffin served as deputy director of the US Secret Service and inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Griffin's resignation falls just a day after the State Department implemented additional rules and procedures [press statement] governing the operation of private US security contractors that work with its personnel in Iraq. Private security guards must now train in cultural awareness and Arabic, and their use of force will be more strictly monitored. Also Wednesday the Iraqi cabinet endorsed the findings of Iraqi official investigators [AP report] that the Blackwater USA guards deliberately shot the Iraqi civilians who were killed [JURIST report]. The cabinet is now pushing for the security firm to be expelled from the country. AP has more.

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