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Iraqis outraged after Blackwater case thrown out

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Thanks to JT for posting this story.

The guards said they were ambushed at a busy intersection in western Baghdad, but U.S. prosecutors and many Iraqis said the Blackwater guards let loose an unprovoked attack on civilians using machine guns and grenades.

There were military witnesses who also corroborated that the attack was unprovoked.

The prosecutorial team working for the same State Department that hired Blackwater -- for reasons known only to itself -- decided to disregard the advice of senior advisory prosecutors and willfully built a case that was designed to fail.

The court was right to throw this case out. However, the conflict of interest by a very corrupt Bush administration got the result that it planned for from the start. The Iraqis are justified at being incensed by American hypocrisy.

This event ranks with Abu Ghraib as demonstrating to the Iraqis how little regard their lives are held by the American people in general.

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Bottom line is Blackwater got off on a legal technicality. Expect lots of complaints about touchy-feely liberal judges who care about criminals' rights and not victims' rights. Or maybe not...

Anyways, not saying the judge was not acting independently, but this ruling sure suits the US government. Erik Prince is a seriously loose cannon, and they want to keep him out of the public eye as much as possible.

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Oh my. An outcome like this is quite an embarrassment for my colleagues and I at the Dearborn Kabob House. We had predicted back in 2007 that the Blackwater incident would be the downfall of either then-President Bush or Prime Minister Maliki, or that one would leave the other twisting in the wind. But these things, kind of like the hope and change we all thought would be brought to Iraq, never came to pass. This is not a cheery start to a new year.

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The prosecutorial team working for the same State Department that hired Blackwater -- for reasons known only to itself -- decided to disregard the advice of senior advisory prosecutors and willfully built a case that was designed to fail.

Yes, you would think that after the Obama administration took over the Dept of Justice they would have caught this and assigned a proper prosecution team. After all the hearing that the Judge based his decision on was held for three weeks Oct 2009 darn near a year into the Obama administration!. I guess the Obama administration was sleeping at the switch on this one and that evil Bush slid another one of his crimes underneath the door. Yeah, that's the ticket. I bet the Obama administration is really embarrassed right now.

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Leave it to people like sailwind to blame this on the Obama administration.

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Anyway, it's sad indeed to see that these US contractors are more 'important' than the lives of those in a country proclaimed to be a democracy. Pretty clear the regime change had no positive effect when things like this are allowed to go unchecked.

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Leave it to people like sailwind to blame this on the Obama administration.

The Obama administration had plenty of time to correct the prosecutions initial flaws in the case Smith, plenty of time......That is an undisputed Fact sir.

They didn't and let this proceed anyway, you don't think that shows some pretty poor incompetent actions on this administrations part?

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Predictable. There're so many layers within the institutional power structure of the US Supreme Court that makes the administration so hard to disentangle its complexity.

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"Iraqis seeking justice for 17 people shot dead at a Baghdad intersection"

Why don't they arrest the insurgents who opened fire on the Blackwater guards? Sheesh.

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Yes, you would think that after the Obama administration took over the Dept of Justice they would have caught this and assigned a proper prosecution team.

The case actually begins when the formal indictments are made by the prosecution and then legal proceedings are scheduled. They just don't happen in a matter of weeks. The indictments were handed over in October of 2008.

I do not know what the Obama team's options were once the legal process was set in motion. They can't be faulted for the fact that the case was built on a completely flawed foundation. There was a massive amount of mess to clean up from the previous administration.

It was not the Dept. of Justice that handled the investigation, but the State Department.

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sailwind: you're still angry Obama won the election, I got it. His administration doesn't figure into this. I blame Blackwater for what happened, my friend, and no one else. As to the court case, I blame the State Department (which as Yabits pointed out, since you insist on bringing up Obama, formal indictments occurred BEFORE he was rightfully elected!).

But hey... perhaps you can explain to us how Obama killed these civilians? Wouldn't surprise me if you thought he did.

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The Obama administration had plenty of time to correct the prosecutions initial flaws in the case Smith, plenty of time......That is an undisputed Fact sir.

The undisputed fact is that the State Department prosecution team handed over its indictments in October of 2008. A formal indictment is a "sealed deal" as far as the legal process is concerned. After handing it over, you just can't go back and "correct flaws."

It is understood why you want to blame this on President Obama's team. There is just very little foundation for it.

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Why don't they arrest the insurgents who opened fire on the Blackwater guards? Sheesh.

The U.S. military personnel (who witnessed the event), and some of the Blackwater mercenaries who testified that the attacks were unprovoked must be lying, according to your view of things.

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sarge: "Why don't they arrest the insurgents who opened fire on the Blackwater guards? Sheesh."

Always willing to believe the lie, eh my friend? A Blackwater guard even testified that there was no provocation. What more proof do you need before you understand the truth?

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Oops. Didn't see Yabits post above. Sorry to have two people tell you the same obvious facts, sargie.

Moderator: Please address other posters by their correct user names.

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some of the Blackwater mercenaries who testified

Politics makes for strange bedfellows, ne? ;)

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The undisputed fact is that the State Department prosecution team handed over its indictments in October of 2008. A formal indictment is a "sealed deal" as far as the legal process is concerned. After handing it over, you just can't go back and "correct flaws."

Yes you can. The prosecutors could have dropped all charges anytime during the process before going to trial and then refiled the case provided the statue of limitations had not ran out. They would have to start from ground zero but then in order to get indictments again they would have to use real evidence not tainted evidence to obtain them and go to trial.

Yes Yabits they could have corrected this after Obama's team reviewed the file that was handed over to them from the Bush administration on the case. They let the original indictments ride for almost an entire year before their was a hearing to determine their validity. They had options well in advance to stop a flawed case from going forward, they went ahead anyway.

Smitty, the meme that I'm bitter because Obama got elected is getting old. As old as your excusing this current administration miscues and bad steps each and every time because of Bush.

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sailwind: "Smitty, the meme that I'm bitter because Obama got elected is getting old. As old as your excusing this current administration miscues and bad steps each and every time because of Bush."

What's getting old is you blaming every new thing on Obama. You are literally here blaming the Obama administration for an outcome I'm pretty sure you approve of. This is not about bush or Obama, don't you get it?

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It's going to take more than 4 years to unscrew what bush screw up sailwind. You just can't fix bush's messes that fast. Remember he had 8 years to really ...k up.

I'm outraged. I'm outraged that for some simple trash the judge dismisses this case. Blackwater is a bunch of murderers protected by some activist judge. < :-)

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I can understand everyone being upset about this. This kind of shows you how the US justice systems needs to be overhauled. Now, do you understand my concern about bring the trials to New York? Its not off topic. This is the same system that has let hundreds of killers, rapists, robbers, and what not off. I have no confidence in it any longer. Actually, I've felt that way since Christmas 89'

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skipthesong: "Now, do you understand my concern about bring the trials to New York? Its not off topic. "

I love how you have to qualify that in the second sentence. Are you concerned that the people in the upcoming trial in NY are going to be let off on technicalities? or are you concerned about their health and well being as the system is corrupt?

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If the guys were guilty teh case would not have been thrown out. American justice,the envy of the world.

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smith: I can't believe you'd ask such a question. You feel these guys were guilty and you are pissed off. Yes, I am concerned the trials in NYC under such a system as the US; I thought the BW guys should have been found guilty point blank. How many cases, in your life, have you witnessed people getting off and what country in the world allows people to get off on technicalities?

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Looks like Team Bush played this to perfection. Spoil the evidence and the case gets tossed. If justice is not done - for those who were murdered by Blackwater - then I am afraid this lack of justice will become a gift that keeps on giving (and no one will be saying Thank you).

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Maybe the Blackwater guards were too trigger-happy, but it is easy to sit on your desk and double-guess the action of someone who is under enormous stress and permanent threats of being shot dead.

One thing is clear, and that is the double standard. Is any similar attention being paid to the islamic terrorist in Iraq who routinely blow up markets, shiite/sunni mosques (the other sect respectively), and of course any Chaldean church that they can locate?

Of course not. That is just accepted as given.

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Yes you can. The prosecutors could have dropped all charges anytime during the process before going to trial and then refiled the case provided the statue of limitations had not ran out. They would have to start from ground zero but then in order to get indictments again they would have to use real evidence not tainted evidence to obtain them and go to trial.

Again, sailwind, your ignorance of the reality of this matter may be a willful attempt to desperately blame as much as possible on an decent administration that was dealt a corrupted hand by the previous one. Once evidence in a matter has been tainted, there is no returning to "ground zero." What you are smugly referring to as that point is actually now a much deeper hole.

As the New York Times correctly puts it: "Sometimes the government demonstrates that there is no contamination of the information used to an obtain an indictment by having it “canned,” or preserved, in a memorandum completed and dated before the prosecutors are exposed to suspects’ compulsory statements, but that was not done in this case."

The case was purposely contaminated by Bush Administration prosecutors who wanted to "protect the backs" of hired murderers. I choose the word "purposely" because the prosecutors acted with knowledge that flew in the face of advice that told them they were contaminating the case.

I am personally happy that the Obama Administration let the case go forward to its logical conclusion rather than try to quash and restart the thing. It will now stand in history as yet another example of just how corrupt the Bush regime was.

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How many cases, in your life, have you witnessed people getting off and what country in the world allows people to get off on technicalities?

Add to that the fact that the "technicalities" were carefully crafted by the prosecutors in order to sabotage their own case.

It could be that because Blackwater was taking on assassination work for the CIA that the management of the company was able to apply pressure to ensure its interests were protected.

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This is not about bush or Obama, don't you get it?

I disagree. This case reeks of Bush/Cheney.

It was an administration that knew how to rig evidence, whether to launch a war or to sanction murder.

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WilliB: "but it is easy to sit on your desk and double-guess the action of someone who is under enormous stress and permanent threats of being shot dead."

Like the Iraqi people faced from Blackwater?

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WilliB so you would be happy if the US lowered itself to the level of terrorists? Well, you're in luck the Bush Legacy is continuing its work of debasing the ideals that have made America the envy of the world.

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WilliB: The difference being, of course, that the 'stressed out' Blackwater group CHOSE to be there, as hired mercenaries, while your average Iraqi doesn't choose to be where they are and are certainly not being paid for it.

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Like the Iraqi people faced from Blackwater?

With at least one significant difference: The Blackwater people willingly signed up, were paid, and knew damned well what they were getting into.

By contrast, the Iraqi people never wanted Blackwater in their country. This was forced upon them -- and the terms of immunity from prosecution from any crimes committed by Blackwater -- by their occupiers.

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hehehehoho:

" WilliB so you would be happy if the US lowered itself to the level of terrorists? "

No, I absolutely would not be happy if the US ordered its military to kill nillywilly, as many people as they can. If they did, for that matter, there would not be much population be left in Iraq.

I was pointing out that making a mistake (as these private guards probably did) is not the same as planning on purpose to commit mass murder. Is that difference really so hard to understand?

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The case was purposely contaminated by Bush Administration prosecutors who wanted to "protect the backs" of hired murderers.

Darn that Bush!

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WilliB: "I was pointing out that making a mistake (as these private guards probably did) is not the same as planning on purpose to commit mass murder. Is that difference really so hard to understand?"

What's hard to understand is why people would bother trying to make excuses for a group of murderers. 'Oh! Oh my, but they were under PRESSURE!' Well, as numerous people pointed out, so are Iraqis, and no doubt the civilians gunned down by these nuts were under ENORMOUS stress when they saw their lives were going to end. And yet if someone tries, as you are doing, to make excuses for a terrorist you would rightfully cry bloody murder.

It's the same with the murdering rapists of Haditha... a select few posters came on saying, "You can't know the stress they were under" or, "this is war", ad nauseum.

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It's the same with the murdering rapists of Haditha.

How many convictions from Haditha smith?

They day in court was under the U.S.M.J

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sailwind: Anything but the topic, eh, bud? I mentioned Haditha as an example of when people will come on this site to defend murderers when they pretend to condemn others. You cannot answer the questions posted to you on this and other threads after being badly beaten down, so you can only defer.

I still think it's humourous, though, that you blame Obama -- a man that you hate -- for a conclusion you are happy about. But hey, bud... anytime you want to address what yabits and I have been saying, go ahead.

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I was pointing out that making a mistake (as these private guards probably did) is not the same as planning on purpose to commit mass murder.

Gee, isn't it comforting to know that, on a moral scale, the United States and its killers-for-hire are still -- in the minds of some Americans -- nudged out by mass-murderers?

The real difference between a mistake and murder is how a society deals with the event. A sincere and genuine effort for accountability and justice marks that difference. Effectively condoning a "mistake" that led to the deaths of innocent people displays a more pervasive form of evil.

Once the people entrusted with collecting the evidence of a wrongdoing are shown to have purposely sabotaged their own case, they have literally allowed others to "get away with murder." Those prosecutors were told they were doing something that would undermine their case and they went ahead and did it anyway.

For all of its self-righteous touting of what it claims to believe in, the United States has acted as a nation that believes in no principle save expediency.

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For all of its self-righteous touting of what it claims to believe in, the United States has acted as a nation that believes in no principle save expediency.

Politics? And they should not have charged in the first place?

Just asking.

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Cheney and his money pulled this off.

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goddog; These guys had no case to answer to.They have been shown to be innocent by the worlds best justice system.

My Cheney is a man of honor and integrity who has earned his money through hard work and honesty. He would not involve himself in illegal activity.

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Iraq needs to learn that they do not run the US Justice system...in the US, people are innocent until PROVEN guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. unlike Iraq, where these men are already guilty before they even go to trial...

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Yabits: Add to that the fact that the "technicalities" were carefully crafted by the prosecutors in order to sabotage their own case.

You've now reached the level where you're expressing conspiracy theory as fact. Congrats on that. The fact is that there have been cases where US service members were convicted of crimes in Iraq whether it be Abu Ghraib or Steven Dale Green for raping a girl and taking part in killing her family.

The fact is that the guards were promised immunity when they made their statements, then those statements made under immunity where suddenly taken to a different venue and they were convicted because of them. If you're cool with that, then please let us know for future reference so we can hold you to it. My guess is that if this practice were used against anyone other than US service members or Blackwater soldiers then you'd be outraged.

Overall, you should stop making your emotions make your decisions. You've made some pretty sensational statements already about this case, including some link to how it shows that all Americans don't care about Iraqis, and now you're getting into the nutty area of conspiracy theories where all of this was planned out and pulled off perfectly, like they planned on getting a conviction then having one judge the case and let them off later on in appeal. Sure. I guess when the convictions were handed down the dark men in the smoke filled room laughed at how smoothly things were going. Then it was time for the final card to be played, eh? I guess it all came down to them believing that any judge would initially convict them then any judge would overturn the conviction on appeal. Yeah, like anyone can rely on that...

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The fact is that the guards were promised immunity when they made their statements, then those statements made under immunity where suddenly taken to a different venue and they were convicted because of them. If you're cool with that,...

I'm not cool with that. If the "world's best justice system" cannot gather the evidence in order to for the defendants to stand trial. That did not happen. If a US soldier or a private citizen did this, there would be a trial. But mercenaries did this under the promise of immunity from prosecution. Hardly a shining moment for the vaunted "world's best justice system". If such a horrendous crime can go untried - if not unpunished - then what exactly is America fighting for?

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You've now reached the level where you're expressing conspiracy theory as fact.

The simple fact is that the prosecutors knew what they were doing, having received advice that warned them against it. If the Blackwater killers could be said to have made a "mistake," the same can not be said of these prosecutors.

The same Dept. of State that hired Blackwater (including tasks like assassination) was also responsible for their prosecution. I can't think of a more clear example of a conflict of interest.

The fact is that the guards were promised immunity when they made their statements, then those statements made under immunity where suddenly taken to a different venue and they were convicted because of them. If you're cool with that, then please let us know for future reference so we can hold you to it.

As with most other things you comment on, you have this all wrong too. Blackwater was under a contract that required them to make reports on all of their actions. The process of making the report could easily put those making it into a situation where doing so would be equivalent to self-incrimination. According to those senior officials who advised the prosecutors, there were ways to gather the testimony so that it would not be tainted. I am "not cool with" the prosecutors knowingly disregarding the advice being given to them in this regard.

Since the crime was committed against the Iraqis, it would have been OK for me to hand them over to the Iraqi justice system, where no promise of immunity was made. I can't think of a better example that would show how much the "liberated" Iraq has advanced.

Overall, you should stop making your emotions make your decisions.

You would do better to stop trying to play conference moderator, and generally trying to police others. It is clear you have led a very sheltered life and have never personally been witness to a travesty of justice such as misconduct of a prosecutor. You appear to have a blind belief in a system that can produce travesties like this that I don't have. You as are free to remain in denial as I am to point out the obvious.

like they planned on getting a conviction then having one judge the case and let them off later on in appeal

That is you distorting what actually happened. The plan was to get this thrown out without even going to trial. Gathering the evidence from the get-go in such a way that it would be tainted -- despite receiving advice warning them not to do it -- would be blatant to anyone with more than an ounce of common sense.

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Ouch, yabits... nice slam. No surprise SuperLib had no comeback.

"Overall, you should stop making your emotions make your decisions."

It's funny to watch an accuser continually claim OTHERS are making emotions their decisions... in emotional outbursts such as yours.

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"Ouch, yabits... nice slam. No surprise SuperLib had no comeback. "Overall, you should stop making your emotions make your decisions." It's funny to watch an accuser continually claim OTHERS are making emotions their decisions... in emotional outbursts such as yours."

Smith, aren't you the one here who tells us continuously only to comment on the topic at hand?

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Iraqis are outraged!

They'll just have to take their case to the fictitious, toothless World Court.

Good Luck.

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