Blackwater Settles Arms Case

Khalid Mohammed / AP Photo

In this Sept. 25, 2007 file photo, an Iraqi traffic policeman inspects a car destroyed by a Blackwater security detail in al-Nisoor Square in Baghdad, Iraq. In the beginning, it all looked simple: topple Saddam Hussein, destroy his purported weapons of mass destruction and lay the foundation for a pro-Western government in the heart of the Arab world. Nearly 4,500 American and more than 100,000 Iraqi lives later, the objective now is simply to get out _ and leave behind a country where democracy has at least a chance, where Iran does not dominate and where conditions may not be good but "good enough."

The controversial military contractor formerly known as Blackwater has agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine in order to settle federal criminal charges related to arms smuggling, sales, and other crimes, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday. The settlement from the company, which now goes by the name Academi LLC, covers a list of violations including unauthorized military training provided to foreign governments, illegal possession of automatic weapons, unauthorized sales of satellite phones in Sudan, illegally shipping body armor overseas, and lying about weapons provided to the king of Jordan. Seventeen charges were brought against Academi following a five-year investigation.