At Least the Iraqi’s are Outraged

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

It seems that the people of Iraq are angered at the dismissal of all charges against the Blackwater security guards in a case that left 17 dead.


An Iraqi looks at a burned car in the days after the 2007 killing of 17 civilians in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. The dismissal of charges could fuel a fresh outcry. (Ali Yussef / AFP/Getty Images / September 24, 2007)

Now x-posted at WWL

The judge who dismissed the case sited the prosecutors for egregious errors that would not have even been made by a 1st year law student, citing use of statements that were in violation of there rights. Apparently, the Bush DOJ knew all along that these statements were inadmissible and would get the case dismissed.I’m not a lawyer and I can even follow along. However, what this ruling demonstrates that while our criminal justice system somewhat works, it means that these hired mercenaries get away with murder.

Can somebody explain to me why we aren’t charging these guards as “enemy combatants”?

Aren’t they terrorists for the massacre of 17 civilians? Should the US try these guards as “enemy combatants”? After all, Iraqis can be abused in American prison camps, and other Muslims held indefinitely without charges, why not these Blackwater guards? It would solve Gen Ray Odierno’s concerns about backlash on other security firms.

Digby has a good summation of all this hypocrisy

I missed the show, but I thought along similar lines when I read the story this morning in the New York Times. There are a number of contradictions that rise to the surface with this ruling.

First, imagine that these Blackwater guards were terrorist suspects who were brought to trial for allegedly massacring 17 innocent people and were released on what right wingers call a “technicality.” How do you think they would be reacting to such a thing? And conversely, would we see some on the left reacting with outrage to the ruling because clearly guilty people were going free due to prosecutorial misconduct?

I also wondered about what Odierno speaks of. If it was unconscionable to release pictures of abuse because it would outrage the Muslim world, what would this do? And at what point do you have to say that worrying about such things when one is following our constitution and the rule of law (as opposed to illegally invading a foreign country)is something that we have to live with?

To me, this is fairly easy even though I think that these Blackwater contractors were likely guilty. If the Bush Justice department broke the law in the course of their prosecution (probably on purpose, mind you) then the judge had no choice but to dismiss these charges. It’s the way our system works. But the case brings up an interesting problem: what if the government doesn’t really want to prosecute some criminals because they’ve employed them to commit the crime? After all, we’ve now seen two high profile Republican criminals have their charges dropped because of prosecutorial “misconduct” by the Bush Justice Department. (Ted Stevens is the other one.)It’s a problem, isn’t it?

I have one more question which I haven’t seen addressed. Have any of the prosecutors who so badly mishandled this case been fired? Or is Obama’s DOJ keeping them on because they are just so incompetent?


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    • TMC on January 2, 2010 at 7:45 am

    not hypocrisy.

    • mishima on January 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Was the use of their own statements against them which is a violation of there Constitutional Rights. He never addressed the governments right to lay charges against them nor gilt or innocence. What judge Urbina addressed was prosecutorial misconduct.      

    • banger on January 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    The Republic is dead. The pro-forma institutions of the Republic live on. Power is now power without the normal checks and balances that the Constitutional system attempted, on the whole, successfully. But it has been thoroughly gamed.

    As I’m going to repeat over and over again, the left in this country has lost its force and the end of the Republic went off with barely a whimper. I don’t think most of you get this at all. If you tolerate, among other things, a War that will last until the end of time against everybody everywhere based on an event (9/11) for which there is no evidence for the government’s contetions on it’s cause then you will swallow any bullshit.

    Without getting to the justifications for war in Iraq and everywhere else you cannot honestly critique current events. To the extent we ignore 9/11 and the whole world of gangster politics which includes wars and financial fraud we give away any chance of influence on the poltical stage.

    This has been illustrated by the current situation wherein the influence of progressives is at a all time low.  

  1. … the judge could make no other decision.

    So everything’s swell, right?

  2. the outrage that would continue to this very day if the Nuremberg trials had been handled similarly?

  3. for “our” justice department was illustrated by the Kardashian family who considered it a thing to avoid, a thing for the commoners.

    • Lovo on January 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    It the most favored tactic these days.

    • Wom Bat on January 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    promised immunity), DOJ intentionally threw the case. The judge got that, but for decorum’s sake wouldn’t level the explicit accusation. And the one guy pleading guilty still faces prosecution.

  4. …leads to much, much more, as the perpetrator/victim becomes caught in an endless tail chase to justify/protect the earlier action.  

    This happens now with those who voted to allow the illegial actions of BushC0–the authorization of monies for wars, the allowance of unprovoked, “pre-emptive” actions, the allowance of torture, illegal imprisonment, Abu-Graebe, Guantanamo, abolition of habeus Corpus, Fisa–all the illegal actions taken in the Hollywood Spectacular War on Terror.

    Now they are taking the next step down the descent to Hell, now they are saying we must keep imprisoned the many (70 or so) Yemeni in Guantanamo even though there has been no evidence that they committed any acts of terrorism, that they may be innocent.  But, they say, “We can’t take the chance! We can’t send them home even if we have no evidence of any wrong-doing.  We can’t take the chance.

    And just what is that chance?  It is the chance that after 7, 8 years of imprisoning and abusing normal men, we may have created a hornets’ nest, a group of people so angry from the expeience of our abuse, that they might go home to Yemen and, God forbid, organize and act against us.

    So those cowards who went along with this wrong-doing from the beginning are now saying we must keep them imprisoned forever, even if they are innocent.

    The evil into which we have descended is unforgiveable.  My Senate critter, Dianne Feinstein, who has no understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law is one of these.

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