December 31, 2009

All Charges Dropped Against Blackwater Guards in Nisoor Square Shooting

I'm sure that liberal heads are just spinning as they try to come up with a convoluted explanation of how Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Eric Prince kidnapped and waterboarded the judge's schnauzer to let this happen, but the simple fact is that this prosecution was always more suspect than the media let on. The investigation devolved into a politically-driven witch hunt before the echoes of the last shots went silent, with the Iraqi government seemingly destroying evidence at the scene and U.S. presecutors seemingly more driven by a desire to find a scapegoat than to determine the facts of the case.

And now it looks like that pig-headed mentality did the case in:

In a 90-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ruled that the government violated the guards' rights by using their immunized statements to help the investigation. The ruling comes after a lengthy set of hearings that examined whether federal prosecutors and agents improperly used such statements that the guards gave to State Department investigators following the shooting on Sept. 16, 2007.

"The explanations offered by prosecutors and investigators in an attempt to justify their actions and persuade the court that they did not use the defendants' compelled testimony were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility," Urbina wrote.

I don't think that this dismissal means that these contractors were necessarily innocent, but the political focus of the investigation means we long ago lost any chance there was of ever determining if there was any justification for the guards to open and then maintain their fire.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 31, 2009 07:07 PM

It was the Bush DOJ that dropped the ball here. It's not like it's tough to connect the line between the dot marked "incompetent prosecution" and the one marked "Bush DOJ."

Posted by: jpe at December 31, 2009 08:02 PM

CY, you really waste a lot of energy bashing liberals. And, it hurts your posts. You open up with a nonsensical rant against Liberals, then continue with a post and a conclusion that pretty much sums up what most Liberals think as well regarding this bungled case.

JPE is dead on.

Posted by: DJ at December 31, 2009 08:26 PM

Uhhhh, you mean kinda' like this, at HuffPo???

"this is appalling ~
read between the lines and it's "dismissed on a technicality"
i agree with kata (below) that baby bush's buddies set this up to collapse.
more and more, it's clear we need some war crimes trials."

And there are hundreds more there - all about the same. The Libtards are ripped off by a Bill Clinton appointed Judge. Don't that just frost your buns??

CY's post is instantly correct.

Posted by: Dell at December 31, 2009 08:50 PM

Hey sounds as if their karma ran over their dogma. The case was politically inspired and the outcome is just desserts.

Posted by: frankm at January 1, 2010 01:36 AM

The shooting in busy Nisoor Square left 17 civilians dead. The Iraqi government wanted the guards to face trial in Iraq and officials there said they would closely watch how the U.S. judicial system handled the case.

(Judge) Urbina said the prosecutors ignored the advice of senior Justice Department officials and built their case on sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity. Urbina said that violated the guards' constitutional rights. He dismissed the government's explanations as "contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility."


The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others "purposefully flouted the advice" of senior Justice Department officials telling them not to use the statements.


When the story first hit the AP wires, the fact that the prosecutors basically threw the case away was highlighted. Within hours, it was re-written, so that the Justice Dept statements saying the prosecutors purposefully fucked up are buried in the last paragraph. That's what we need - a justice system and media who cover up murder. Blackwater is a bunch of pretty bent wackjobs.


On October 4, 2007 U.S. military reports indicated Blackwater's guards opened fire without provocation and used excessive force. "It was obviously excessive," a U.S. military official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Washington Post. "The civilians that were fired upon, they didn't have any weapons to fire back at them. And none of the IP (Iraqi police) or any of the local security forces fired back at them," the official continued. The Blackwater guards appeared to have fired grenade launchers in addition to machine guns, according to the report.[4]

On October 13, 2007, the FBI reported it had found at least 14 of the 17 civilians killed to have been without cause.[10] The three possibly justifiable killings involved the two passengers of a white Kia sedan which rolled toward the convoy, as well as an unidentified Iraqi nearby.[10] Much of the blame for the unjustified casulties has been put on "turret gunner no. 3", Paul Slough, 29, of Keller, Texas, who fired a large number of rounds during the event.[10]

Posted by: Ass-kickin' Yankee at January 1, 2010 11:42 PM

Sure it can, especially when it smells like decomp.

JAC, you're an idiot.

Posted by: ung at January 2, 2010 02:44 AM

This sort of miscarriage of justice is another prime example of what "can" happen when the US Government hires mercenaries to do the work of soldiers. Of course, this is what "does" happen when a president, Bush II, surrounds himself with the ideological purists from the so called Chicago School of Economics such as Rumsfeld and Cheney.

Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys (AKA Thugs) had been preparing and positioning themselves for years for this war. This war has never been about giving democracy to the Iraqi people. It's been about making a few people piles and piles of money in the name of democracy.

The Blackwater guards had no business being in Iraq in the first place. They are hired mercenaries, called contractors. And, compared to the poor US soldiers who proudly serve our nation, these folks serve only the almighty dollar. The proof is in the pudding, too, when you compare their salaries to that of US soldiers.

Shameful. Absolutely shameful that they were there in the first place.

Posted by: Dude at January 2, 2010 05:32 PM