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Ain’t No Party Like a Blackwater Party, ‘Cause a Blackwater Party Got Coke, ‘Roids, and AKs

September 30, 2010 by  


By Spencer Ackerman

Your favorite ballplayers had former bat boy Kirk Radomski get them their steroids. While in Iraq, Blackwater had a Texas businessman named Howard Lowry, who bought steroids “by the case” for juicing security contractors.

And Lowry didn’t just help Blackwater’s guards get jacked. He helped them get deadly as well, buying over 100 AK-47s and ammunition for the company on the black market.

And what goes better with guns and steroids than nudity and drugs? In a sworn deposition for a lawsuit brought by two ex-Blackwater employees, Lowry maintains that he hung out at Blackwater parties in Baghdad where “company personnel had large amounts of cocaine and blocks of hashish and would run around naked.” Addled guards would step onto the balconies of their rooms at the Hamra Hotel, point their automatic rifles at Iraqi housing complexes and open fire.

That’s all reported by Blackwater nemesis Jeremy Scahill, who acquired Lowry’s deposition for a new Nation piece. One of Lowry’s friends was Jerry Zovko, one of the four Blackwater contractors lynched in Fallujah in 2004. Lowry testified that Zovko gave him “tremendous insight into the company and confirmed that the use of steroids and human growth hormone, testosterone, were pretty endemic to them and almost companywide.”

The entire lawsuit is wild. Ex-employees Brad and Melan Davis have accused Blackwater of defrauding the government by, among other interesting bookkeeping techniques, billing the government for money spent on strippers.

But Lowry’s accusations are some of the most baroque yet. Guards charged with protecting the U.S.’ viceroy in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, were “beyond out of control,” dumping ounces of cocaine on tabletops to sniff before letting off a spray of gunfire into populated areas. Such parties, he claimed, were a “weekly” ritual.

“One of the suites would be absolutely packed with gentlemen running around with either no clothes on, no shirt on,” Lowry testified, according to Scahill. “It was like a frat party gone wild. Drug use was rampant. There was cocaine all on the tables. There were blocks of hash, and you could smell it in the air…walking up to the door.”

Lowry’s drug stories all raise questions, to put it mildly, about what kind of behavior Blackwater’s guards are up to on their secret missions in Pakistan.

That isn’t the only lawsuit that Blackwater is facing. Two of its former guards, Justin Cannon and Christopher Drotleff, are staring down federal murder charges in Virginia for shooting Afghan civilians in Kabul last year. Their defense counsel rested their case yesterday. (At least two groups to support Cannon and Drotleff have set up shop on Facebook.)

Blackwater’s currently up for sale. Judging from Lowry’s deposition, Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory is a natural future owner.

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