Dozens of Iraqis travel to US to testify against Blackwater in 2007 massacre case


“Not credible” might include foreign accent as one of its parameters.


… and also one of those un-christian skin tones.


Excuse me, I just have to add their names to some list we have back here behind the curtain. It is definitely not a no fly list.

Can’t read the article because of NYT’s ten-articles-a-month limit.

Why are they being tried in the U.S.? Usually when you go to another country and murder its citizens, you get tried there.

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I’m going to be very surprised if the Blackwater contractors don’t walk free …

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From the NYT article: “The Iraqi government wanted to prosecute the security contractors in Iraq, but the American government refused to allow it.”


This is priceless: While the defense attorneys claim that the witnesses’ testimonies were “orchestrated”, the NYT article says the defense attornies also “hope that inconsistencies in the Iraqis’ stories will raise doubts about what happened.” Because of course.


huh wha?

Under what legal theory does the U.S. government claim jurisdiction?

Legal, shmegal.

To review briefly some of the relevant history: During World War II, US planners recognized that the US would emerge from the war in a position of overwhelming power. It is quite clear from the documentary record that “President Roosevelt was aiming at United States hegemony in the postwar world,” to quote the assessment of diplomatic historian Geoffrey Warner. Plans were developed to control what was called a Grand Area, a region encompassing the Western Hemisphere, the Far East, the former British empire – including the crucial Middle East oil reserves – and as much of Eurasia as possible, or at the very least its core industrial regions in Western Europe and the southern European states. The latter were regarded as essential for ensuring control of Middle East energy resources. Within these expansive domains, the US was to maintain “unquestioned power” with “military and economic supremacy,” while ensuring the “limitation of any exercise of sovereignty” by states that might interfere with its global designs. The doctrines still prevail, though their reach has declined.

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Contractors working for the State Department all had immunity.

Is it just distortion from the camera lens, or do these two look like some kind of mutant?


I’m not certain what theory they advanced in order to claim jurisdiction(robustly enough to resist dismissal by the defendants’ lawyers); but given that American mercenaries aren’t subject to the UCMJ and were carefully immunized from trial in Iraq, it’s now a choice of the feds or ironclad impunity for these guys. I’m pleasantly surprised that they didn’t just let them skate entirely.


Would you trust the sort of shifty, dishonest, character who would let another day’s boring commute suddenly turning into a lethal cacaphony of automatic weapons fire rattle his precise grasp of every last detail? Guys like that are always lying.


Blackwater to Xe to Academi…

What, is the idea to make people lose track of who they are and what they did?


I’m not sure what the courtroom-Latin is, but the English translation is something like, “Because we say so, and we have the guns.”

Seriously, though, I think fuzzyfungus has the gist of it. Pursuing the case in the US is the only path even theoretically available.

A spokesweasel for the Altria Group Family of Companies says “Yeah, and it may actually work.”

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Since the contract is probably “state secret,” we can’t know, but it’s possible that there were barred activities explicitly outlined in the contract with a provision that would make the contractor liable for criminal prosecution in the US should the contractor or it’s employees engage in these activities. IANAL, just speculating, and I would totally write a provision like this into a contract for fucking mercenaries.

…and facial hair, never forget the facial hair

Ah, but you are not Donald Fucking Rumsfeld.

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