Friday, April 03, 2009


Nobody Knows Nothing

The Justice Department has charged 5 Blackwater employees with multiple counts of manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and a weapons charge arising out of a September 16, 2007 shootout in Baghdad which left 17 Iraqis dead and many wounded. Trial is scheduled for 2010. Here is what was discovered recently. Bullets recovered from the scene (somehow) do not match the weapons used by Blackwater personnel. The guys charged are: Donald Ball, 26, of West Valley City, Utah; Dustin Heard, 27, of Knoxville, Tennessee; Evan Liberty, 26, of Rochester, New Hampshire; Nick Slatten, 25, of Sparta, Tennessee; and Paul Slough, 29, of Keller, Texas.

The Blackwater guys say they were ambushed and returned fire. Iraqis say it was a one way affair and Blackwater guys just started shooting with machine guns and grenade launchers for no apparent reason.

Whatever happened, this inability to match the bullets is not a good thing for the Prosecution. That means it's at least an OK thing for the Blackwater guys charged and perhaps then a good thing for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

There is a sixth guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, who has pled out and will turn "state's evidence" as the old phrase went. I wish my experience with these sorts caused me to believe he will be a good (and truthful) witness. But, alas...

Here is a taste of the expected Iraqi testimony against the 5:

Wisam Rahim, who was wounded on the square, said the guards should be executed. "Blackwater vehicles and helicopters were firing at us. I demand that these guards be executed. We want to see justice done," he said.

There is no testimony from anyone else that helicopters were firing at civilians.


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