This article is from the archive of our partner .

Blackwater (now known as Academi) got kicked out of Iraq specifically for shooting 17 civilians in 2007, but they shot a lot more than that, including a dog raised by a group of New York Times reporters, according to a cache of documents obtained by Gawker. The trove of thousands of reports detailing every time a security contractor fired a weapon in Iraq came as the result of a Freedom of Information Act Gawker filed four years ago. As writer John Cook points out, a lot of the stories the documents tell have already been made public, but there are thousands of pages to pore through so they went ahead and posted the entire collection online. One story from 2007, that we missed in Reuters at the time, was about a group of Blackwater contractors who shot a dog that New York Times reporters had raised from a puppy, when it reportedly attacked their own dog. 

After killing the "stray" dog, the Blackwater team learned that it was in fact was a pet and "basically a mascot.... Several New York Times reporters subsequently came out of the residence and were saddened to learn that their 'favorite' dog had been shot. [Redacted] spoke to [redacted] and the reporters and did a good job smoothing things over and de-escalating the situation."

Another incident in which fellow security contractor Dynacorp* shot a guy who turned out to be a judge for driving too fast, hitting him in the leg, certainly ranks higher on the scale of diplomatic importance. But come on, who shoots a dog? That's just low.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Blackwater was responsible for shooting both the judge as well as the dog. It was not.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to