06 Jan

U.S. Judge Drops Charges Against Blackwater Guards ~ Happy New Year Blackwater!!!

U.S. judge drops charges against Blackwater guards
USA Today
A federal judge dismissed all charges Thursday against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in a crowded Baghdad intersection in 2007.
Citing repeated government missteps, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed a case that had been steeped in international politics. The shooting in busy Nisoor Square left 17 Iraqis dead and inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad. The Iraqi government wanted the guards to face trial in Iraq and officials there said they would closely watch how the U.S. judicial system handled the case.
Urbina said the prosecutors ignored the advice of senior Justice Department officials and improperly built their case on sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity. Urbina said the government’s explanations were “contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility.”
“We’re obviously disappointed by the decision,” Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said. “We’re still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options.”
Prosecutors can appeal the ruling.
Blackwater contractors had been hired to guard U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The guards said insurgents ambushed them in a traffic circle. Prosecutors said the men unleashed an unprovoked attack on civilians using machine guns and grenades.
The shooting led to the unraveling of the North Carolina-based company, which since has replaced its management and changed its name to Xe Services.
The five guards are former Marines Donald Ball, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty, former Army sergeant Nick Slatten and Paul Slough, an Army veteran.
Defense attorneys said the guards were thrilled by the ruling after more than two years of scrutiny.

“It’s tremendously gratifying to see the court allow us to celebrate the new year the way it has,” said attorney Bill Coffield, who represents Liberty. “It really invigorates your belief in our court system.”

“It’s indescribable,” said Ball’s attorney, Steven McCool. “It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. Here’s a guy that’s a decorated war hero who we maintain should never have been charged in the first place.”

The five guards had been charged with manslaughter and weapons violations. The charges carried mandatory 30-year prison terms.
Urbina’s ruling does not resolve whether the shooting was proper. Rather, the 90-page opinion underscores some of the conflicting evidence in the case. Some Blackwater guards told prosecutors they were concerned about the shooting and offered to cooperate. Others said the convoy had been attacked. By the time the FBI began investigating, Nisoor Square had been picked clean of bullets that might have proven whether there had been a firefight or a massacre.
The case fell apart because, after the shooting, the State Department ordered the guards to explain what happened. In exchange for those statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to cooperate.
The five guards told investigators they fired their weapons, an admission that was crucial because forensic evidence could not determine who had fired.
Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear. Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said. Key witnesses also reviewed the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements, the judge said.
The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others “purposefully flouted the advice” of senior Justice Department officials telling them not to use the statements.
It was unclear what the ruling means for a sixth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, who turned on his former colleagues and pleaded guilty to killing one Iraqi and wounding another. Had he gone to trial, the case against him would likely have fallen apart, but it’s unclear whether Urbina will let him out of his plea deal.


McCain Hopes Blackwater Charges Reinstated
McCain: “Our sympathy goes out to the families of those killed and injured in this very unfortunate and unnecessary incident”
Senator John McCain told Iraqis that he ‘hopes and believes’ that criminal charges against five Blackwater security guards accused of killing Iraqi civilians will be reinstated. (Jan. 5) (The Associated Press)

Wild Thing’s comment…….
The unhinged lefty kooks will go psychotic over this one. Obama and Erick Holder must be really ticked off.
Then there is the anti-POW family John McCain and his total RINO statement. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
This is great news. Thank GOD for this ruling.
Now- if we can only get this for our Navy SEALs.

….Thank you Jack for sending this to me.
United States Army
Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai ’68 -’69
Jack’s blog is Conservative Insurgent

Mark says:

McCain might have more credibility if he’d come out and said something when Holder dropped the charges against the Black Panthers on Voter Intimidation Charges in Philidelphia.
Like obama he doesn’t have the facts and should really keep his stupid mouth shut.

Lynn says:

Why did McPain say that? But good for Blackwater. So much of this is based on red herrings and lies that the media spews forth as the truth. We don’t know what’s true anymore.

When is McCain going to stop “reaching across the aisle”, and just get it over with and admit his Democrat tendencies?
America only heard one side of the whole damned deal, as Blackwater was contractually kept mute on its side of it all. Dumbassed Americans that think this is a war of uniformed troops don’t even know what constitutes civilian and military in that country. They also don’t consider that since Blackwater, in doing its job has to re-visit the same neighborhoods day after day. Why in hell would they allow one or more of their own to go Cowboy on them? Further, regardless of what the outcome of the Nisoor Square event, Blackwater can say what no other outfit can- That not one of their clients has been harmed during the time that Blackwater guarded them. The Iraq government chose not to renew Blackwaters work certificate in country, so when the contract with the State Department expired, it could not be renewed. At the same time, Blackwater, now XE was ramping up in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as elsewhere, and is doing well in its re-supply mission, both overland as well as their specialty of Low cost Low Altitude air re-supply.
No one that I heard bad-mouthing the number 1 Security Company in the Country, knew the facts, and were spouting what Keith Overdone, Cong Waxman n Wexler were saying in their rants.
“Never Forget the Ft. Hood Texas 14 of 11/5/09!”

BobF says:

McCain is what’s wrong with the Republican Party. I bet when he’s in Iraq, he uses Blackwater to guard his sorry butt.

darthcrUSAderworldtour07 says:

I saved the NY POST front page newspapers and still have the vivid shot of four charred human corpses dangling from that bridge that crossed the Biblical Euphrates River… A few were beaten and burned to death – while they were still alive … That’s right, don’t waterboard these ?!

TomR says:

How nice it would be if McCain lost his primary battle in this year’s election. He is the definition of a RINO.

Wild Thing says:

Thank you everyone.
I agree, I hope and pray McCain gets voted out and replaced with a real conservative.