world

Biden: U.S. to appeal dismissal of Blackwater case

30 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
Login to comment

This is idiotic. They should start from scratch, and refile charges if the evidence warrants it, not try to appeal a dismissal that was obviously justified. The only way I can see this, is as politically motivated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don`t know so much about Bidet, but i think he i correct here. I saw a programme about this and i conclude an appeal is justified.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Biden seeks only to keep the case open as a means to attack the Bush administration. Seeking the truth and justice for the accused is irrelevent. The Obama administration is obsessed with blaming their predecessor for anything and everything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just based on Judge Urbina’s unshakable findings that the prosecutors engaged in gross misconduct and intentionally violated Mr Ball’s constitutional rights

Willfully engaged in gross misconduct, I might add. Senior advisors warned them ahead of time that what they were doing was absolutely wrong, and the prosecutors went ahead and did it anyway. There can be no other logical explanation for this -- aside from mental retardation -- apart from the intention to scuttle their own case.

Turn the people over to Iraqi justice. With Chemical Ali, the Iraqis are now on a roll.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seeking the truth and justice for the accused is irrelevent. The Obama administration is obsessed with blaming their predecessor for anything and everything.

Dozens of innocent Iraqis dead and crippled for life.

American justice isn't worth a hill of beans to the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nobody knows what really took place and therefore the charges should be thrown out rather then trumped up !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nobody knows what really took place...

Well, you certainly don't. The one guard who pled guilty and gave testimony against his colleages certainly knows a great deal about what happened. So "nobody" is a gross untruth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yabits: Willfully engaged in gross misconduct, I might add. Senior advisors warned them ahead of time that what they were doing was absolutely wrong, and the prosecutors went ahead and did it anyway. There can be no other logical explanation for this -- aside from mental retardation -- apart from the intention to scuttle their own case.

Well they could have been feeling pressure to get a conviction no matter what.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well they could have been feeling pressure to get a conviction no matter what.

You were doing better when you tried to pass off the utter phoniness about a certain oil company's taxes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Willfully engaged in gross misconduct, I might add. Senior advisors warned them ahead of time that what they were doing was absolutely wrong, and the prosecutors went ahead and did it anyway.

This I agree with.

There can be no other logical explanation for this -- aside from mental retardation -- apart from the intention to scuttle their own case.

This I don't.

Turn the people over to Iraqi justice. With Chemical Ali, the Iraqis are now on a roll.

This I definitely don't agree with.

What should happen, is the people who were prosecuting the case, should be investigated by the ethics division to see if they themselves should possibly be prosecuted themselves. At the very least, they should have to go and explain their actions before the bar. New prosecutors and investigators should be brought in, and they ought to re-investigate everything, see if charges are warranted, and then re-prosecute if they are, this time staying well within constitutional guidelines.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One can't expect justice from an American court for a heinous crime committed by American trigger-happy mercenaries against innocent Iraqis. Not after this fiasco.

Turn those who fired upon Iraqis over the "liberated" Iraq -- as it is so vaunted by the same conservatives who become weak-kneed when the spectre of putting their rhetoric to the test presents itself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's a Democrat. He'll say anything to please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yabits: You were doing better when you tried to pass off the utter phoniness about a certain oil company's taxes.

Your evidence amounts to a conspiracy theory and ramblings about "American trigger-happy mercenaries." You'll have to excuse some of us if we don't want a legal system based off the mentality of someone who is clearly an emotional wreck and wants to put everyone else in jeopardy because he hates this very specific group of defendants.

The fact is that someone can think a defendant is guilty but still support a system that doesn't convict because we know there are ramifications will extend beyond just these men. After what I've read I personally think these men are guilty. But I support the system when it throws out convictions based off of testimony that's obtained when immunity is promised.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact is that someone can think a defendant is guilty but still support a system that doesn't convict because we know there are ramifications will extend beyond just these men. After what I've read I personally think these men are guilty. But I support the system when it throws out convictions based off of testimony that's obtained when immunity is promised.

As much as I hate to say it, I agree with this statement too. The constitution must be followed. Else we are in danger of anarchy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What one thinks, or believes is not important. What one can PROVE,is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good. Hopefully they nail them this time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heheh, maybe if the prosecutors waterboarded the prisoners, they would've gotten more out of them that would be usable in a military tribunal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The constitution must be followed. Else we are in danger of anarchy.

Iraq has a constitution too. When an American private citizen goes to another country and commits a crime, they are subject to the criminal justice system of that country -- for better or worse.

U.S. laws limit the exposure of U.S. servicemen and women to foreign justice systems when they are serving overseas through agreements -- and Americans know that their military is under civilian control, and accountability can and will be exercised through a clearly defined code and chain-of-command. The prosecutors under the code are also accountable for their actions.

What Blackwater represents is a group of private citizens who are not subject to military justice, and yet can be used by elements of our government to commit things that can be considered criminal, as in the case of the wrongful deaths and maimings of dozens of innocent Iraqis. (Carrying out assassinations is also one of Blackwater's missions.) All this beyond the umbrella of civilian oversight and accountability.

Since they are private citizens, they should face justice under the system under which they committed the crimes they are accused of.

You'll have to excuse some of us if we don't want a legal system based off the mentality of someone who is clearly an emotional wreck and wants to put everyone else in jeopardy because he hates this very specific group of defendants.

A statement like that could only be written by someone projecting his own problems and deficiencies onto others. I contend that allowing the killings of innocent Iraqis to go unpunished, and not even subjected to the "liberated" Iraqi justice system, is actually the path that will eventually put more people in jeopardy. Having a special class of private citizen which can exact lethal power over citizens of a foreign country and not be subject to accountability for their actions is not a desireable state of affairs.

"Trigger-happy" is an appropriate term to apply to those, when considering that so many if not most of the wounded were shot in their backs while attempting to flee the square, as well as considering that some of the victims were children. It was a term applied to them by some of our U.S. troops who witnessed the carnage. "Mercenary" is also the correct term to apply members of a private army beyond civilian control.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yabits, you know very well that immunity was granted to these men and then those statements were used to convict them. You cannot escape that reality. Unless you can come up with a way to say the convictions should be upheld despite what happened during the legal process then please do so.

Your personal opinion about Blackwater employees is irrelevant. Your sympathy for the Iraqis is a matter of convenience to your personal crusade against these men and nothing more. Talking about the larger issue of accountability for private contractors is an issue to discuss, but it doesn't change the prosecution's behavior in this specific case.

To put it bluntly, you don't have a legal leg to stand on. I know it must sting to think that you lost an opportunity to have Blackwater employees convicted, but you're better off getting over it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yabits, you know very well that immunity was granted to these men and then those statements were used to convict them.

Immunity was not granted to them by the legal system of the Iraqis -- the aggrieved party in this. The crime of wrongful death was committed in a sovereign Iraq, against the Iraqi people. It is noteworthy when a U.S. legal system immunifies private Americans from prosecution for crimes committed against foreigners in their own country. (Americans would not stand for it, if the positions were reversed.)

My contention is that the United States should honor a request from the Iraqi government to extradict the accused to Iraq to face the Iraqi justice system -- which should have been done from the very beginning. The current state of affairs sents a clear message to the Iraqis that it is OK for Americans to kill them with impugnity. Not a good thing for either nation.

Your other statements are irrelevant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The intial investigation, and trial, should have taken place in Iraq. Why merceanaries are deemed to be protected from crimes they allegedly comitted in a foreign land is beyond me.

Biden is obviously hoping to contain the situation by promising to not let the matter drop, but lawyers, the trial fiasco, and the coin of the realm wielded by Xe will probably assure the matter fades away despite Iraqi fury.

Oh, and Yabits - whether you like it on not - Superlib's point is correct. Immunity cannot be granted for it to be taken away at a later date. And IMO it's too late and their's too much bad blood on the Iraqi side to send them for a fair trial now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, and Yabits - whether you like it on not - Superlib's point is correct. Immunity cannot be granted for it to be taken away at a later date.

I never argued for or against that.

I have a problem with a system that builds in immunity for mercenaries the way ours has. Blackwater was compelled by contract to report on all of its activities. So, they were granted immunity by the fact that honoring the contractual agreement to report would put the perpetrators in a position where they could incriminate themselves.

Add to that is the fact that the prosecutors were advised of this and would have to proceed on another tack in order to have any chance of building a successful case. And those prosecutors ignored the obvious and proceeded to build a case they essentially knew would likely be thrown out without serious consideration.

Americans seem to want to smugly believe that their system is superior in the sense that it must be honored and bowed down to by others, or else. The injustice and dangers of allowing private citizens to go over with impugnity as long as they are on U.S. government business can not, in my opinion, be overstated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The injustice and dangers of allowing private citizens to go over with impugnity as long as they are on U.S. government business can not, in my opinion, be overstated.

The sentence was meant to read as follows: The injustice and dangers of allowing private citizens to go to other countries and kill their citizens with impugnity as long as they are on U.S. government business can not, in my opinion, be overstated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yabits, What you are suggesting, is that if prosecutors don't think they can convict them in one country, they should extradite them to a country where they can be convicted. Essentially shopping their trials to some 3rd world country so they can be convicted. I cannot disagree more strongly with this attitude.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Essentially shopping their trials to some 3rd world country so they can be convicted.

I can't imagine how a person can be more obtuse than with comments like this one.

The wronged party in this is the Iraqis. Plenty of innocent dead and wounded. They didn't ask for Blackwater to be in their country; on the contrary, they disapproved of it. So tell me why the Iraqi people don't have the right to prosecute these private U.S. citizens who blew their people away.

No "shopping" needed. The prosecution needs to take place in the country where the crimes occurred. It was Iraqi law that was violated, and U.S. prosecutors should not be deciding cases for the Iraqis.

Are the Americans that much above the laws of other nations? Or is it because the legal system in the U.S. is that much more superior that people can literally get away scot-free with killing dozens of innocent people as long as the victims aren't Americans? Or is it that "liberated" Iraq is still too inferior of a nation to entertain the idea of prosecuting someone from the master-nation?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yabits: I never argued for or against that.

Of course not. You can't possibly comment on that and still hold a credible position. So, we'll just close our eyes and make it disappear....

The fact is that without the statements made under immunity the likelihood of any criminal conviction drops substantially regardless of the venue, so your point about being tried in Iraq is meaningless.

We both know you don't care about Iraqis. Your statement that you were fine with Saddam killing as long as it didn't affect you will forever undercut any attempts to play the sympathy card. You made your own bed...

If you're looking for someone to share the blame, something I know you're all about, then perhaps you should invest in a good mirror. What most likely happened is that the prosecutors knew they wouldn't be able to get a conviction without the statements but they were also facing pressure from groups of people like yourself who wanted to see these men hang regardless of their guilt or innocence, so they broke the rules in order to placate people such as yourself. Your helped to create this circus of a legal proceeding so perhaps you should take a moment to reflect on that.

On the plus side, it's nice to see that you aren't pushing the conspiracy angle anymore. I guess that wasn't playing out too well so you decided to switch gears. Good luck with your "sudden" interest in legal venues on behalf of the well-being of the Iraqis. Maybe that will pan out for you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course not. You can't possibly comment on that and still hold a credible position.

Iraqi laws were broken. The proof is dozens of dead and injured Iraqis and the statements of U.S. and Iraqi witnesses which assert that the mercenaries of Blackwater ran amok. The perpetrators of the crime were not promised immunity from Iraqi law by the Iraqi government.

Your statement that you were fine with Saddam killing as long as it didn't affect you will forever undercut any attempts to play the sympathy card.

Readers might be confused as to this off-topic statement. The reference is to the thread/topic on the conviction of Chemical Ali. Readers can skim through the thread and see how the quote was pointed out as the lie it certainly is by another reader. It is beneath further comment.

On the plus side, it's nice to see that you aren't pushing the conspiracy angle anymore

Unlike the previous thread on this topic, there is no mention of how the prosecutors willfully disregarded the advice from experienced advisors warning them that they were subverting their case. The word "conspiracy" describes a wrongful or subversive act undertaken by agreement between two or more people. That it applies to the prosecutors in this case is rather obvious.

people like yourself who wanted to see these men hang regardless of their guilt or innocence

Another baldfaced falsehood. When innocent people are killed, the responsible parties should face a court trial which will determine their guilt or innocence. Since the wrongful deaths were committed by private U.S. citizens against Iraqis on Iraqi soil, the jurisdiction of the events of the massacre should be Iraq's. U.S. immunity granted to the men is therefore irrelevant.

For the record, for justice to be served, the families of the dead and the injured need to face the ones who carried out these acts in a court of law. And that court should be in the nation where the crime was committed -- especially since that nation is now "liberated," to use the term that right-wingers like to apply to it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see you're firming up the jurisdiction angle. Nice work. Would I be correct in assuming that you would not allow the statements made under immunity to be included as evidence? Or would your trial be more like what Molenir described, which would be to promise immunity then hand the information over to others?

Readers might be confused as to this off-topic statement. The reference is to the thread/topic on the conviction of Chemical Ali. Readers can skim through the thread and see how the quote was pointed out as the lie it certainly is by another reader. It is beneath further comment.

I know that the person I'm talking to bases his sympathy for the victims on who did the shooting. For you it's simply a tactic, not an real emotion. Give it up and move on.

Unlike the previous thread on this topic, there is no mention of how the prosecutors willfully disregarded the advice from experienced advisors warning them that they were subverting their case. The word "conspiracy" describes a wrongful or subversive act undertaken by agreement between two or more people. That it applies to the prosecutors in this case is rather obvious.

Great. Then I'll call into question the motivation that you attached to their actions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you said that the prosecutors intentionally sabotaged the case for the specific purpose of seeing to it that these men go free. Have there been any new developments on that end?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would I be correct in assuming that you would not allow the statements made under immunity to be included as evidence?

There was no immunity granted to the private U.S. citizens who shot up the Iraqis by the Iraqi government. The Iraqis would have to build their case using testimony that they themselves obtain. Extradition of those involved in a serious crime on foreign soil is a fairly routine procedure between governments. The U.S. is not under any legal obligation to turn over evidence. One thing is certain, however: an Iraqi investigation and court proceeding would certainly gather more evidence from the surviving victims and other witnesses.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you said that the prosecutors intentionally sabotaged the case for the specific purpose of seeing to it that these men go free.

There is no other logical explanation for prosecutors to knowingly undermine their own case -- especially after being told they were doing so. Knowing what you are doing is wrong and still doing it pretty well describes "intentional" for the average reader. The explanation that you put forth -- that prosecutors were feeling pressure from groups who wanted to see the men hang -- is far beyond the realm of possibility since there is not a shred of evidence of any group putting pressure on them. (Outside of their senior advisors warning them not to pursue the course they were on.)

And yet again, you've gotten it wrong. The prosecutors weren't interested nearly as much in "letting the men go free" as they were to not have open testimony about the activities of Blackwater come to light in a court trial. Being that Blackwater is a paramilitary organization that is outside of civilian control which takes on activities (such as assassination) that are ordinarily illegal for U.S. government employees and service personel to perform.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Were these the same prosecutors who got one of them to go on record and confess to manslaughter?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites