Black People : All Charges Are Dropped In Blackwater Shooting

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by RAPTOR, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    December 31, 2009

    A federal judge dismissed all charges Thursday against five Blackwater
    Worldwide security guards accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in a
    crowded Baghdad intersection in 2007.

    Citing repeated government missteps, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina
    dismissed a case that had been steeped in international politics. The
    shooting in busy Nisoor Square left 17 Iraqis dead and inflamed anti-
    American sentiment abroad. The Iraqi government wanted the guards to
    face trial in Iraq and officials there said they would closely watch how the
    U.S. judicial system handled the case.

    Urbina said the prosecutors ignored the advice of senior Justice Department
    officials and built their case on sworn statements that had been given under
    a promise of immunity. Urbina said that violated the guards' constitutional rights.
    He dismissed the government's explanations as "contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility."

    "We're obviously disappointed by the decision," Justice Department spokesman
    Dean Boyd said. "We're still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options."

    Prosecutors can appeal the ruling.

    Blackwater contractors had been hired to guard U.S. diplomats in Iraq.
    The guards said insurgents ambushed them in a traffic circle. Prosecutors
    said the men unleashed an unprovoked attack on civilians using machine
    guns and grenades.

    The shooting led to the unraveling of the North Carolina-based company,
    which since has replaced its management and changed its name to Xe Services.

    The five guards are Donald Ball, a former Marine from West Valley City, Utah;
    Dustin Heard, a former Marine from Knoxville, Tenn.; Evan Liberty, a former
    Marine from Rochester, N.H.; Nick Slatten, a former Army sergeant from Sparta,
    Tenn., and Paul Slough, an Army veteran from Keller, Texas.

    Defense attorneys said the guards were thrilled by the ruling
    after more than two years of scrutiny.

    "It's tremendously gratifying to see the court allow us to celebrate the new
    year the way it has," said attorney Bill Coffield, who represents Liberty.
    "It really invigorates your belief in our court system."

    "It's indescribable," said Ball's attorney, Steven McCool. "It feels like the
    weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. Here's a guy that's a
    decorated war hero who we maintain should never have been charged in the first place."

    The five guards had been charged with manslaughter and weapons violations.
    The charges carried mandatory 30-year prison terms.

    Urbina's ruling does not resolve whether the shooting was proper. Rather,
    the 90-page opinion underscores some of the conflicting evidence in the case.
    Some Blackwater guards told prosecutors they were concerned about the shooting
    and offered to cooperate. Others said the convoy had been attacked. By the time the
    FBI began investigating, Nisoor Square had been picked clean of bullets that
    might have proven whether there had been a firefight or a massacre.

    The Iraqi government has refused to grant Blackwater a license to continue
    operating in the country, prompting the State Department to refuse to renew
    its contracts with the company.

    In a statement released by its president, Joseph Yorio,
    the company said it was happy to have the shooting behind it.

    "Like the people they were protecting, our Xe professionals were working
    for a free, safe and democratic Iraq for the Iraqi people," Yorio said. "With
    this decision, we feel we can move forward and continue to assist the United
    States in its mission to help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan find a peaceful,
    democratic future."

    The case against the five men fell apart because, after the shooting, the State
    Department ordered the guards to explain what happened. In exchange for those
    statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in
    a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments
    so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing
    to cooperate.

    The five guards told investigators they fired their weapons, an admission that
    was crucial because forensic evidence could not determine who had fired.

    Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those
    statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear.
    Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them
    to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said. Key witnesses also reviewed
    the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements,
    the judge said.

    The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead
    prosecutor Ken Kohl and others "purposefully flouted the advice" of senior Justice Department
    officials telling them not to use the statements.

    It was unclear what the ruling means for a sixth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway,
    who turned on his former colleagues and pleaded guilty to killing one Iraqi and wounding
    another. Had he gone to trial, the case against him would likely have fallen apart, but it's
    unclear whether Urbina will let him out of his plea deal.
     
  2. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    of course. That's how it always happens. Ethnic life has almost no value in
    'this version of the world.. the one that plead guilty must not have known
    that.. now he's going to jail and his buddies are probably going back to Iraq
    emboldened by their newly minted licenses to kill.
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    wow.....but i'm not a bit surprise at all
     
  4. Kamau47

    Kamau47 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I don't know what it says about me, but I was not expecting anything else. People of color in this world have little or no value to the white power structure.
     
  5. Kamau47

    Kamau47 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  6. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    We must remeber the other melinated folks Black water was shooting at in New Orleans during Katrina,
    will they be posted o our street corners?

    will they be placed on Africa to assist AFRICOM?

    Regardless of the promises and the investigations and the previous convictions, Black water and other private goon squads and proffesional Thugs, have been increased in Afghanistan 40% since February last year.

    Yes it goes on, yes it is to be expected,

    but it is wrong!!!
     
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