Despite Blackwater, State Officials Get Promotions

Even as she accepted the resignation of State's security chief Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice quietly promoted two senior staffers who directly oversaw controversial Blackwater security operations, sources tell ABC News.

Justine Sincavage has been serving as director of the Overseas Protection Operation (OPO), which has direct responsibility for all State Department security contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan. That includes overseeing Blackwater, which has won more than $1 billion in security work from the State Department.

According to internal State Department documents, Sincavage was promoted Tuesday. Sincavage's predecessor as OPO director, Kevin Barry, was also promoted, the documents show. 


The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Tuesday, their boss, Ambassador Richard Griffin, stepped down from his post as assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. A State Department review released Monday found serious problems with the operations of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), which Griffin oversaw, including lax oversight of private security contractors, including Blackwater USA. A replacement for Griffin has not yet been named.

Current and former officials were outraged. 

"It is ironic; on the day the assistant secretary for DSS resigns, the two people with oversight responsibility for the program get promoted," said one current State Department official who asked not to be named.

Another State official who would not be named went further, calling the promotions of Sincavage and Barry a symptom of "a perverted system of government."

"They both got promoted in the face of all this mismanagement and controversy -- talk about government B.S.," said another. "What does it say when State promotes the two people into DS' most senior positions, when if they had properly managed the programs under the responsibility, we wouldn't be in this mess?"

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