(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?