Federal judge dismisses charges against Blackwater guards blamed in 2007 civilian shooting deaths

A federal judge today dropped all charges against five security guards with Blackwater Worldwide (now "Xe") security guards said to have been responsible for killing unarmed Baghdad civilians in a 2007 shooting incident.


  1. Translation: The Bush Justice Department fixed the case to make sure it would get thrown out.

    Then, like any lame-duck GOP presidency, they delayed until the problem could make a Democrat successor look bad.

    And Hawley “justice prevails!” seems to think shooting unarmed civilians in the back is okay? I thought we were there to “liberate” them. If this is humor it could be couched better…

        1. @Antinous
          We end up this year awfully in sync sir, up to the last word: a bit frightening. j/k

          It’s a new year now. Have a happy one.

  2. RTFA:

    Investigators promised the men that their statements were to be used only for the internal inquiry and would not be used in a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to cooperate.

    The deal meant that prosecutors had to build their case without using those statements. Urbina said the Justice Department failed to do so. Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to get search warrants, Urbina said

    It is entirely possible that the judge actually did the best job of all parties at work in this investigation.

    1. So then the investigators should get life without parole. Or are we just going to giggle and say, “Our bad!” when a bunch of civilians are slaughtered.

      1. The prosecutors seem to favor the appeal route: bad omen.

        I am not familiar with the American justice system but, since the case was only dismissed, not fully judged, can’t it be rebuilt, worse case scenario, and resubmitted without raising the double jeopardy issue? I think so.

        Who in America will actually fight for those Iraqis victims though? Also, if any rise up to the challenge, what price will they be made to pay for siding with the still perceived enemy?

      2. Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

        More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

        Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

        More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast. Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it – do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

  3. Jeremy Scahill noted that this is how Oliver North got off. Given how the judge phrased it, some of the JD’s conduct does seem willful. And given witness statements and physical evidence, they clearly should have built their case in another direction. I smells a rat, I does. . . .

  4. It’s not the judge that is to blame; it is the prosecution. It’s not the judge’s job to ensure a conviction – he is just responsible for running a fair trial according to the law and sentencing.

    If the entire apparatus of the state when arrayed against a defendant cannot come up with convincing evidence against the defendant, the defendant should not be judged guilty.

  5. Once again, American “Justice” prevails in inviting justified contempt on America. This crime against foreign nationals on foreign soil should have been tried using international law. Now the Iraqis have all the more reason to hate the USA. This was not true justice.

  6. The ultimate irony would be for the Blackwater guards to be renditioned to Iraq. Not likely, though.

  7. I wish I could say I was surprised about this, but no. Given the Blackwater/CIA connection, I expected a cover up. It would be awfully interesting (I’d lay my money on *awfully*) to find stats on total cases brought against the CIA, ones that went to trial, and ones that concluded with a CIA loss, as compared to any other government agency (and, just for kicks, any other government intelligence agency).

    I’d bet that the only U.S. government agencies even less frequently convicted are the NSA, because of the “state secrets” excuse, and the TSA, because it’s apparently held accountable to no one at all.

  8. I smell a rat. No Iraqi’s were interviewed, and Blackwater (AKA Xe) has become not only a major lobbyist and defence contractor, they are also a Praetorian Guard for the US State Department overseas. Its not as if the various US government agencies are going to be working in concert to see justice done.
    Machiavelli explicitly condemned the use of mercenaries for the best of REALIST reasons: mercenaries inevitably end up using the state for their own ends, yet they have no loyalty to it, and they have a huge vested interest in encouraging violent unrest – which is possibly why they massacred 17 people in the first place.

  9. Drip, drip, drip…

    Next time somebody tries to commit violence against US objectives, remember the drip, drip, drip effect of the perceived abuse of power of the US against other nations.

    USians may argue about the technicalities of the case until the end of time, the reality is that Iraqi people was killed and nobody is being judged for this crime.

    Easy sell to a disaffected, stupid, would be bomber…

    Drip, drip, drip ….

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