Blackwater and Immunity of its Employees for Murder.


The USA Federal Judge who reviewed the Blackwater case about the massacre on Nisour Square.  This is a highly controversial judgment on the multi-faceted issue of USA military mercenaries.  From Twitter Jeremy Scahill adds important points to keep in mind including, “Remember: the legal reasons for this dismissal have a lot to do with Bush officials giving preemptive immunity to the shooters”

Fed Judge Gives Blackwater Huge New Year’s Gift, Dismisses All Charges In Iraq Massacre

By Jeremy Scahill

“A federal judge in Washington DC has given Erik Prince’s Blackwater mercenaries a huge New Year’s gift. Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed all charges against the five Blackwater operatives accused of gunning down 14 innocent Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in September 2007. Judge Urbina’s order, issued late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve is a stunning blow for the Iraqi victims’ families and sends a clear message that US-funded mercenaries are above all systems of law—US and international.

In a memo defending his opinion, Urbina cited a similar rationale used in the dismissal of charges against Iran-Contra figure Oliver North—namely that the government violated the rights of the Blackwater men by using statements they made to investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shooting to build a case against the guards, which Urbina said qualified for “derivative use immunity.” “please continuing reading at http://rebelreports.com/

including  “The Nisour Square massacre was the single deadliest incident involving private US forces in Iraq. Seventeen Iraqis were killed and more than twenty wounded.”   and

also from Rebel Reports by J. Scahill – “For those interested, here are the judge’s order and the90 page memo defending the order.”

For information on informative, highly praised book by J. Scahill go to the following link.   About Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Iraq ‘to appeal the Blackwater verdict’

Iraq reaction to dismissal of five Blackwater employees accused in murder of innocent Iraqi civilians.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/01/201011101136634433.html

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Posted on 2010/01/04, in The World Today and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Iraq will help Blackwater victims sue

    Iraq will help victims of the 2007 shooting of civilians in Baghdad to file a lawsuit in the US against employees of security firm Blackwater, an incident that turned a spotlight on the United States’ use of private contractors in war zones.

    Last week, a US judge threw out charges against five guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, saying the defendants’ constitutional rights had been violated.

    Iraq called that decision “unacceptable and unjust” and, as well as supporting a lawsuit brought by Iraqis wounded in the shooting and families of those killed, it will ask the US justice department to review the criminal case, a government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said .

    “The government will facilitate a lawsuit from Iraqi citizens to sue the guards and the company in a US court,” he said.

    The guards from Blackwater Worldwide, now known as Xe Services, say they shot across a crowded intersection in self-defence after hearing an explosion and gunfire. But an Iraqi whose young son was killed in the incident said they indiscriminately fired at cars.

    The shooting strained relations between Washington and Baghdad and became a symbol for many Iraqis of foreigners’ disregard for their lives.

    Dabbagh said the court had “rejected the case on form, and not on its merits”.

    Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, private guards protecting US personnel were given immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts. That ended with a bilateral agreement that took effect last year.The five guards were charged in a US federal court with 14 counts of manslaughter, 20 of attempting to commit manslaughter and one weapons violation. A sixth Blackwater guard pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and attempting to commit manslaughter, and agreed to co-operate with prosecutors.

    Dabbagh said Iraq was conducting an investigation into whether current or former Blackwater employees were still operating in the country, including with other firms.

    He said Iraq did not want them on its soil, but did not say whether they would be expelled.

    “We do not want any member of this company, which committed more than one crime in Iraq, to work in Iraq.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/03/iraq-blackwater-victims-sue-firm

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