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Ear to the Ground

State Dept. Gave Blackwater Shooters Immunity

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Posted on Oct 29, 2007
mercenaries
chinadaily.com.cn

Three senior law enforcement officials have revealed to the Associated Press that the State Department gave all of the Blackwater guards involved in the Sept. 16 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians immunity from prosecution.

The guarantee was made during the State Department’s own investigation, which was later taken over by the FBI. The government can still prosecute, in theory, but would have to prove that its evidence was not derived from statements Blackwater guards gave to the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.


AP via Yahoo:

FBI agents were returning to Washington late Monday from Baghdad, where they have been trying to collect evidence in the Sept. 16 embassy convoy shooting without using statements from Blackwater employees who were given immunity.

Three senior law enforcement officials said all the Blackwater bodyguards involved—both in the vehicle convoy and in at least two helicopters above—were given the legal protections as investigators from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security sought to find out what happened. The bureau is an arm of the State Department.

The investigative misstep comes in the wake of already-strained relations between the United States and Iraq, which is demanding the right to launch its own prosecution of the Blackwater bodyguards.

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By Aaron R. Linderman, November 2, 2007 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who drives against traffic in a traffic circle, you ask?

The State Department contract with Blackwater, which is about 1,000 pages long and extensively detailed, stipulate that State Department convoys travel quickly and drive aggressively.  Furthermore, no State Department official ever travels with less than three vehicles and they’re always the biggest stuff they can find, with those obnoxious “Warning: Stay Back” signs and all of that. 

This is in contrast to the CIA, which drives around Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, with contract security, all the time, but doesn’t run into trouble.  Why?  Because they’re riding in unmarked beat-up pickups and following traffic patterns.  The difference, surprisingly, is not the contractors - both employ them - but the agency that hires them and the terms of the contracts.

It’s sad to think that the State Department officially has the lead for public diplomacy.  Who most heavily opposed the State Department terms under which Blackwater is employed?  The Department of Defense (which also employs contractors, but again, under different terms), folks who actually know a thing or two about public diplomacy, even though it’s not their primary duty.

The State Department contract also stipulates that diplomatic security guards must wear wrap-around sunglasses (a cultural faux pas in the Arabic world) and prohibits facial hair (another cultural faux pas).  Just what WERE these State Department boys learning at Georgetown?

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By tigger, November 1, 2007 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

If the American Gvt can give immunity for the poorly controlled and undisiplined blackwater employees whats next?  Shall we all be under the pretense that this is how our gov’t truly feels about gaining control of a 3rd world country.  I guess so, based on the fact that religion and govt democracy doesn’t work over there.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, October 30, 2007 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Erik Prince claimed Oct 1, that “Blackwater says its guards acted ONLY AFTER COMING UNDER FIRE, while the Iraqi government says the shooting was unprovoked.”
(emphasis mine)
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-10-01-blackwater_N.htm

The article states:
“An initial incident report by U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Iraq, also indicated “no enemy activity involved” in the Sept. 16 incident. The report says Blackwater guards were traveling against the flow of traffic through a traffic circle when they “engaged five civilian vehicles with small arms fire” at a distance of 50 meters.”

Their story is ridiculous.  “TRAVELING AGAINST THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC THROUGH A TRAFFIC CIRCLE” what kind of morons do things like that?  Then they said they felt endangered or something to that effect…. ya think…. (not dem der cowboys..dem boyz iz tuff)

The article goes on:
“The FBI took over the case early this month, officials said, after prosecutors in the Justice Department’s criminal division realized it could not bring charges against Blackwater guards based on their statements to the Diplomatic Security investigators.”

I thought this quote was almost comical.  Hmmm…we can’t use “their statements”.  Gee…what a blow to the case.  What are we going to do without “THEIR STATEMENTS”?

And on:
“Prosecutors will have to prove that any evidence they use in bringing charges against Blackwater employees was uncovered without using the guards’ statements to State Department investigators. They “have to show we got the information independently,” one official said.”

Was there ever going to be any other way to get it?  Like these yo-yo’s were going to “come clean” for the good of the country or their company or something like that.  Is this administration in such denial that they think that if they make it SOUND like they’re working hard to get to the bottom of this that we’ll all just follow the carrot?

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By rodney, October 30, 2007 at 4:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s be honest here, immunity was given because Iraqi lives are not worth as much as American lives. We would not allow anyone to come into our country, kill our citizens, and leave without any punishment. But to us, a Arab life isn’t worth as much. If it were the mercineries would be put on trial and hung, as was done with Saddam and all of the Bathists that we allowed to be hanged. However, when American contractors commit war crimes and murders, they are allowed to leave Iraq and find other government employment. The puppet government of Iraq is powerless to do anything because it’s not their government it’s ours. The same racist attitude on display in Iraq has been displayed in America since it’s beginning. White life is superior to that of Black, Native American,Hispanic,and any other non-white. You see it in the form of the death penalty and the sentences given to minorities in the criminal justice system. So what’s happening in Iraq is just America’s way so spreading racism, white superiority and it’s two tier system of justice throughout the world. God Bless White America and no one else.

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By hippy pam, October 30, 2007 at 4:05 am Link to this comment

ALL HAIL EMPEROR BULL SH*T-in bed with HIS PAID PROSTITUTES[big business-oil-religion-blackwater-invasion-coercian-outright lying]I could name more but it is to early in the A.M. here…...THE PEOPLE RUNNING OUR GOVERNMENT ARE TOTALLY CORRUPT-THEY NEED TO BE STRIPPED OF POWER AND MADE TO REPAY EVERYTHING THEY HAVE USED AND MISUSED…...

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By Douglas Chalmers, October 30, 2007 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

Immunity from prosecution - in a foreign state???

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By Aaron R. Linderman, October 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually, as you read through, the story line becomes familiar: in an effort to determine the truth of a matter, immunity is granted to those involved.  (With an exception retained for particularly gross offenders.)  In other circumstances this would be called a “truth and reconciliation commission.”  South Africa set up one after apartheid fell.  The same arrangement is fairly common in America in certain types of investigations.  This is not the shocking news its being made out to be.

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By FrostedFlakes, October 29, 2007 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This shit has got to stop!! There has to be a revolution in this country so that we can get rid of ALL of these “selected” and appointed minions of these criminal, yet inept, corporations which control the decisions that are put upon the American populace. And that is not only the Bush cabal, but congress, the state department, the supreme court, F.C.C., the Pentagon, the “repugnicant” party, and the spineless and abetting democratic party. To hell with the “new world order”, let’s take back our damn country.

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By jbart, October 29, 2007 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MAYBE WE GIVE THE “MAFIAS” (RUSSIAN,JAMAICAN,AMERICAN) ALL IMMUNITY FOR ANY, AND ALL THEIR ACTIONS? THEY ALL HAVE “BUSINESS/MONEY” REASONS AT THE ROOT OF THEIR ACTIONS AND, SINCE THESE BUSINESS NEEDS ARE, NECESSARILY, ACCEPTABLE???  LET"S JUST TURN OVER OUR/THE WORLD TO THEM.  HOW’S THAT FOR A SOLUTION? WHAT DO YOU “WUSSIES” THINK?  GIVE UP. WITHOUT DEBATE?  WITHOUT A FIGHT? IF YOU SAY YES, YOU SUCK.IF YOU SAY NO, JOIN TOGETHER TO MAKE YOUR OPINION KNOWN.I’M more than just frustrated by your apathy, I’m deeply distressed at your continued selfishness and apathy.

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By waxman, October 29, 2007 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME WE GAVE MANSON IMMUNITY AND A PARDON ..RE;LIBBY, BLACKWATER, NIXON ...I REST MY CASE..

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