Tag Archives: Blackwater guards

Blackwater Guards Charged With Manslaughter

Among the many tragedies of Bush’s war in Iraq was allowing private contractors to function as a government unto themselves who were not subject to either Iraqi or American law. Finally, federal prosecutors were charged with the killing and wounding of a few dozen innocent Iraqi civilians last September. The five men face 14 counts of manslaughter and 20 counts of attempted manslaughter. The killings occurred as guards were protecting a convoy of American diplomats through the streets of Baghdad. An FBI official, Joseph Persichini, noted “the tragic events in Nissor Square on September 16 of last year were shocking an violation of basic human rights.” Numerous witnesses have come forth to describe how the contractors opened fire without any provocation on the part of Iraqis.

Of course, defense lawyers argue, “we think it’s a pure and simple case of self defense.” Defense attorneys will have a difficult time securing witnesses who would testify anyone fired on the guards. The only self defense in this case is the claim of self defense because the contractors acted in haste and, most probably, in fear of the unknown.

The real tragedy in this case is the absence of any charges against George Bush who create a war over non-existing WMD and placed people in situations in which there was no supervision over their actions.

Justice Department Investigating Blackwater

The Justice Department is gathering testimony from Iraqi witnesses for a possible trial of Blackwater Worldwide security guards over a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. FBI agents and Justice Department attorneys arrived in Baghdad last week in order to conduct interviews as part of an investigation into the truth of what actually happened. An Iraqi police officer who witnessed the shooting was asked if anyone had fired on Blackwater security guards and he told the FBI team there was no attack on the Blackwater convoy and the shooting was entirely done by Blackwater personnel. Blackwater insists its guards were first fired on and were only responding to the shooting when Iraqi civilians got caught in the cross-fire. Initial reports by the U.S. military and the Iraqi government found no evidence of any ambush or firing on the convoy. Families of victims killed insist Blackwater guards initially opened fire on their cars.

Blackwater, like most private security firms, operates in a legal gray area. They are exempt from prosecution in Iraqi courts, but it is also unclear whether thay can be charged in American courts. The prosecution and conviction of Blackwater guards would have a powerful impact on Iraqis since it would demonstrate America’s commitment to democracy.