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Archive for Saturday, January 2, 2010

Iraqis outraged at Blackwater decision

January 2, 2010

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— Iraqis seeking justice for 17 people shot dead at a Baghdad intersection responded with bitterness and outrage Friday at a U.S. judge’s decision to throw out a case against a Blackwater security team accused in the killings.

The Iraqi government vowed to pursue the case, which became a source of contention between the U.S. and the Iraqi government. Many Iraqis also held up the judge’s decision as proof of what they’d long believed: U.S. security contractors were above the law.

“There is no justice,” said Bura Sadoun Ismael, who was wounded by two bullets and shrapnel during the shooting. “I expected the American court would side with the Blackwater security guards who committed a massacre in Nisoor Square.”

What happened on Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007, raised Iraqi concerns about their sovereignty because Iraqi officials were powerless to do anything to the Blackwater employees who had immunity from local prosecution. The shootings also highlighted the degree to which the U.S. relied on private contractors during the Iraq conflict.

Blackwater had been hired by the State Department to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The guards said they were ambushed at a busy intersection in western Baghdad, but U.S. prosecutors and many Iraqis said the Blackwater guards let loose an unprovoked attack on civilians using machine guns and grenades.

“Investigations conducted by specialized Iraqi authorities confirmed unequivocally that the guards of Blackwater committed the crime of murder and broke the rules by using arms without the existence of any threat obliging them to use force,” Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement Friday.

He did not say what steps the government planned to take to pursue the case.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

That's an incredibly stupid post, even for you, Tom.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"The federal prosecution messed up big time."

I don't think that it was the prosecution that screwed up here. The screwup was that the State Dept., for whom Blackwater worked, immediately jumped in and gave everyone immunity-- likely so they could cover their own a$$es.

anon1958 5 years, 1 month ago

This is one more compelling reason to end our reliance on mercenaries. Anyone that has been following this important story knew almost for certain that this case was going to be tossed and deeply concerned about the reaction from justifiably outraged Iraqi's.

This incident was thoroughly investigated in Iraq by members of our own armed forces and they concluded that these Blackwater thugs gunned down the civilians without any provocation. Forensic examinations revealed that a number of Iraqi citizens were shot in the back while fleeing.

The eight years of the Bush administration's failed policies overextended our military capabilities to such an extent that we rely on civilian contractors to a shameful degree.

These Blackwater thugs are outside the chain of command and of course not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This is just an unconcionable and intolerable situation created by Bush/Cheney and actually being made worse by Obama/Hilton in their continued reliance on mercenaries. Our own officers in the field are undercut and reasonably upset about these modern Prussians.

At the top of Blackwater is a man that is a self-proclaimed Christian crusader. His war crimes are well known to many reporters, former disgruntled employees and not a few congressmen. However, there is no doubt that he has a ton of dirt on many important and powerful people. Hopefully his arrogance will eventually lead him to take an action that cannot be ignored, regardless of the fallout.

Meanwhile he is in charge of a very capable and by no means small private army with significant air assets and impressive intelligence gathering capability.

The obvious place to send the Blackwater thugs accused of slaughtering Iraqi citizens is to the Netherlands where they can be tried by an international tribunal at the Hague.

anon1958 5 years, 1 month ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

The 'blame America first' crowd will be up in arms over this one. They were fairly laid back when Daniel Pearl was beheaded and a soldier was dismembered and dragged through the streets of Baghdad.

Tom do you actually know anything about this story at all? It appears to me from your comment that you are woefully uninformed about this incident. You should be as upset as anyone else about the well documented massacre of innocents perpetrated by these Blackwater criminals. Do you include the criminal investigators of the United States Army as part of the "blame America first" crowd. They were among the first to get "up in arms" about this war crime.

I honestly think that your comments posted here reveal a depth of ignorance and radicalization that can only be described as profound. Have you been so completely programmed by FOX News that your every reaction is to spout some nonsense that only you and your peers are true Americans and everyone else is a week kneed crying liberal.

You really have no right to invoke the name of Daniel Pearl in your rants. Lucky for him he never met you in real life. I am reasonably sure he would judge you, from your writings and posts here, as an uninformed, know nothing lunatic.

My own view of you has changed from annoyance to feeling somewhat sympathetic toward you on the account of the fact that something has obviously compromised your ability to synthesize facts and come to a reasoned judgment.

JustNoticed 5 years, 1 month ago

Anon1958 Very well put, concise and compassionate. In other words, pity the fool.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 1 month ago

No, Tom, you just are the easiest party-liner of the ultra-right brand, are imminently predictable, and 9 of 10 of your screeds are ridiculous. Takes no analysis..you just set yourself in the bullseye of informed liberals and conservatives alike, day after day.

anon1958 5 years, 1 month ago

barrypenders (Anonymous) says…

anon goggles may help seeing clearly through Progressive Articulate Enhancement Shaman advancements. PAES are not melee healers. Flame Shocks may work. Pity-Guilt is emotionally charging, but recoverable.

I am quite baffled by this, please explain in further detail. Many of my students have referred to me as a master of the obscure reference, a weakness I have been avoiding here, but I have not been able to penetrate the meaning of the above post.

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