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Republicans Ask Waxman To Postpone Blackwater Hearing

Seven House Republicans have urged Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) to postpone an expected hearing this week about Blackwater USA until the State Department and a separate commission release reports about the most recent incident involving the North Carolina-based security firm in which Iraqi civilians were killed.

The group sent Waxman a letter last Friday urging him to reschedule a Tuesday hearing into Blackwater's role protecting U.S. government officials in Iraq since the initial invasion.

The Republican lawmakers want Waxman to postpone the hearing until the State Department and the U.S.-Iraq Joint Commission unveil their own separate reports about the shooting on September 16 in the Mansour district of Baghdad in which nine Iraqi civilians were reportedly killed and another 15 were wounded.

"We are just as interested in discovering what occurred during the most recent Blackwater incident, but for that to happen, we need to have all the facts available, which includes the outcome of the ongoing investigations by the Department of State," the lawmakers wrote. "We feel it would be irresponsible for the Committee to rush to judgment until all the facts are considered."