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scott helvenston's e-mail, written on the eve of his departure for the mission

From: scott helvenston []
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2004 7:30 PM
To: XX, XX, XX
Subject: extreme unprofessionalism

To the Owner, President and Upper Management of Blackwater Security,

It is with deep regret and remorse that I send you this e-mail. During my short tenure here with Blackwater I have witnessed and endured some extreme unprofessionalism. First, I would like to begin this e-mail with a few positive notes. My training began on March 1st. During my 10 days of training I experienced some quality training conducted by quality instructors. The British firearms instructor, Tom Black and even the hand to hand instructors displayed some very skilled and professional instruction… others as well but I am not in recollection of their names.

Unfortunately though I must explain to you there is an individual amongst the ranks that has proven to be a very manipulative, duplicitive, immature and unprofessional.... …

Editor's Note: FRONTLINE has removed the section of the letter that follows here. It concerns Helvenston's disagreements and problems with one particular individual on the team.

… Now, I must get to the instigating factor for drafting this document. I believe that there was no secret in my dessent [sic] with how XX and YY were conducting themselves …. I am just one of those kind of guys that wears their emotions on their sleeve. Three days ago I was put on a team with two of the men who came down from Baghdad. Cool .. ready to go! Yesterday that was changed. OK, things seem to be a bit disorganized but I am still on it. We spent the last two days working, out for meals, getting to know one another and in general bonding. We have been told the we are scheduled to leave two days from now to escort a bus up to Baghdad. Tonight I went out with my new teammates for dinner and afterwards my team leader took us out to a huhka bar. This is a non alcoholic bar, it is a very dignified custom that the local muslims partake in and was … well my first time doing such a thing. At roughly 2200 hrs. this evening I receive a call asking me if I can leave tomorrow 0500 with a new team leader. God's honest truth … I am sitting there with a fruit drink and a piece [sic]pipe in my mouth (completely legal) feeling … well … dizzy as shit and a bit nasuated [sic] and my response was no. My bags were not packed and I just didn't feel up to it.

We returned to the apartment and my team leader went to speak with XX. He frankly did not want to lose me as a team member and I think he felt that there was a hidden agenda. "Lets see if we can screw with Scott." I will also include that there were no principles [sic]to be transported and supposedly this was a result of another team leader not getting the weapon permits for his existing team.

Shortly after my team leader met with XX he came up to explain that he would be going to Baghdad and we would all meet up in two days. ...

Editor's Note: In the paragraph that follows here, Helvenston writes again about his disagreements with one of members of the team. His letter concludes:

As I sit here at 0300 in the morning finalizing this document I respectfully request to keep my job. I get along with everyone here. EVERYONE to include the ESS and Regency staff. The only person I am not getting along with is XX....

I intend to meet with all my teammates tomorrow. I ask you to speak with at least 3 of them to get the full picture.


Scott Helvenston

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posted june 21, 2005

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