Friday, January 1, 2010

Blackwater Thugs Get Away With Murder

Those of you who followed the previous incarnation of Politics Plus may remember that at the time of  this incident, I accused Rice and the Bush/GOP regime of intentionally tainting the evidence so that these murderers would never come to trial.

77102087MW009_HOUSE_COMMITT In a rebuke to government prosecutors, a federal judge dismissed criminal charges against five Blackwater security guards accused of fatally shooting 14 people in Baghdad in September 2007.

Judge Ricardo Urbina said on Thursday prosecutors violated the defendants' rights by using incriminating statements they had made under immunity during a State Department probe to build their case.

"The government used the defendants' compelled statements to guide its charging decisions, to formulate its theory of the case, to develop investigatory leads, and ultimately to obtain the indictment in the case," Urbina ruled.

"In short, the government had utterly failed to prove that it made no impermissible use of the defendants' statements, or that such use was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt."

The security guards had been "compelled" to provide the incriminating evidence during a Justice Department probe, the court said, but the US Constitution bars the prosecutors from using "statements compelled under threat of a job loss" in any subsequent criminal prosecution.

The case was among the most sensational that sought to hold Blackwater employees accountable for what was seen as a culture of lawlessness and a lack of accountability as it carried out its duties in Iraq.

The five guards, who had been part of a convoy of armored vehicles, had been charged with killing 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians and wounding 18 others during an unprovoked attack at a busy Baghdad traffic circle using gunfire and grenades.

The men had faced firearms charges, and up to 10 years in jail on each of 14 manslaughter counts.

US prosecutors had alleged that the guards "specifically intended to kill or seriously injure Iraqi civilians," and according to court documents alleged that one of the guards told another that he wanted to kill Iraqis as "payback for 9/11," bragging about the number of Iraqis he had shot.

Urbina explained in his opinion that federal prosecutors were offered an opportunity during a three-week hearing that began in mid-October 2009 to prove that they had not made use of the defendants' statements in building its case and were unable to do so.

"The explanations offered by the prosecutors and investigators in an attempt to justify their actions... were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility," Urbina wrote.

He added: "The court must dismiss the indictments against all of the defendants."

The five defendants were security guards employed by Blackwater Worldwide, which since has been renamed a Xe Corporation… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Raw Story>

As I said at the time, once these GOP SS murderers were given immunity for the State Dept. investigation, there would be no way to separate the evidence garnered there from admissible evidence.  In that way, the Bush/GOP regime protected their mercenary army from prosecution.  As a rule, I like to be right, but this is one of those times that I feel sp pissed off over being right that I’d like to scream!


the walking man said...

Why the hell not what is a few more dead Iraqi's right? I mean if these guys got prosecuted then it may be the wedge to prosecute the entire god damned w/cheney administration.

Suzan said...

I felt exactly the same way, TC, and was just awaiting the fait accompli of our much-vaunted system of justice.

We are the new barbarians.

And we (they, actually - as I despise them) wear it proudly.

Thanks for your great reportage!

You rock.


libhom said...

Isn't this similar to how Oliver North got off?

TomCat said...

Wouldn't that be wonderful, Mark?

Thank you, Suzan.

Libhom, if I remember correctly it was indeed.

Tom said...

Another offense to be put on the Bush administration. The judge made the correct decision (if the stated facts are correct). It's another example of political corruption.
I'm not a lawyer, but is there a charge for intentionally using the processes of government to allow murders to go free?
If that process allowed murders to go free; the judge should have allowed the statements, and let it go to the Supreme Court to decide if that process was Constitutional.
The only way to stop the law from being used to abuse people, is the law. If the law allows this kind of abuse, then the law must be changed.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

ditto walking man... It would seem that justice for these A-H's is just not going to be forthcoming. My irk at the White House grows...

TomCat said...

Tom, I don't know a way around it. If the process was abuse of the Constitution, it would not be right to blame the accused, because someone else abused it. The only solution as I see it is to keep Republicans out of the White House.

Gwen so does mine, but this situation has nothing to do with anything Obama has done. And consider where we might be had McConJob and Mooseolini won?

Lisa G. said...

Xe is now doing contracts with both the US and Pakistanis. It's been blocked from the US media, but all over the foreign press. They are supposedly protecting 'supply routes'; if you believe that, I've got a really cheap bridge to sell.

Dave Dubya said...

Not only do the evil fascists have the deck stacked in their favor by rogue regimes, (Bush AND Obama, now)they are protected by proof of a negative. "to prove that they had not made use of the defendants' statements".

The Evil Empire is within.

TomCat said...

Lisa, how dare you try to sell them my bridge!! ;-)

Dave, this one has NOTHING to do with Obama. His DOJ tried to find a way around the taint and prosecute the Blackwater murderers.

Dave Dubya said...

Obama is still more part of the problem than the solution with the mercenaries. He is doing nothing to control them, and is only rewarding them with more employnent in Afghanistan. They are blood stained corporate thugs. The entire company should be denied any further government contracts. Erik Prince needs to be held up to public scorn and marginalized at LEAST as much as anti-war liberals were during the Bush years. Everyone in the world knows that Prince, and his being coddled by the government, is a huge reason why the US is hated. I'm sorry to see the Big O is just another enabler to Bush/Cheney atrocities.

I see no positive action on this. I will continue to call the US government a rogue regime as long as it protects murderers and allows war criminals to go uncharged.

That is the standard we hold others, to, isn't it? Well, except Israel, of course.

TomCat said...

Dave, I wish it was that simple. Bush and the GOP made our military and foreign serrvice so contractor-dependent that just pulling the plug would leave a huge vacuum with nothing to replace the loss. It needs to be done, but it will take years.

Dave Dubya said...

Sad to say the mercenary business was up and running under Clinton, and "contractors" were doing their dirty deeds in Vietnam.

The problem has become institutionalized, and so far Obama has shown none of the courage to do anything about it. I understand the wall he is up against but, he is far more like another company manager, rather than a reformist.

This is what happens whem liberalism is suffocated out of the national government. Even a liberal president cannot do very much on his own. And unfortunatley, Obama is not a liberal president.

TomCat said...

Dave, I never expected Obama to be a radical reformer. Do you remember that I oftened warned, even during the primaries, that he is a centrist, not a progressive?