Friday, January 1

Charges against the Blackwater 5 dropped

Five Blackwater Worldwide guards were relieved today as Federal District Judge Ricardo Urbina dropped the charges against them.

The five were accused of killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 others in a 2007 shooting in Nisoor Square, Baghdad as the contractors were escorting a convoy.

This ruling brings question to the tactics of Justice Department prosecutors handling the case. The ramifications of this ruling will be far reaching and you can be sure that this will not be acceptable in Baghdad and the surrounding areas.

The Huffington Post writer David Isenberg has put up a post reporting that
Blackwater claimed the convoy was attacked by armed insurgents. A spokesman for the U.S. embassy said that the shooting occurred after a car bomb exploded while U.S. diplomats were nearby.

U.S. military reports from the scene indicated that Blackwater guards opened fire without provocation and used excessive force against Iraqi civilians. A New York Times article noted that the cascade of events began when a single bullet apparently fired by a Blackwater guard killed an Iraqi man whose weight probably remained on the accelerator and propelled the car forward. The car continued to roll toward the convoy, which responded with an intense barrage of gunfire in several directions, striking Iraqis who were desperately trying to flee.
Read the rest of David's post at the Huffington Post

Just that bit of knowledge should equate to a more frenzied response than that of the Los Angeles riots of April 29th 1992.

You remember the LA riots. They were sparked when LAPD officers, Stacy Koon, Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind, were acquitted of brutally assaulting Rodney King. The city immediately ignited. During the first day of the riots over fifty people lost their lives. In the end after the dust settled and the smoke cleared property damages topped roughly $1 billion, thousands of people had been injured and 53 people died.

Rodney King lived, 17 Iraqis did not.

I would expect there to be some sort of public display of frustration with the American presence and the Blackwater 5 not being held accountable for the killings of 17 Iraq citizens.

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