Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings

I'll admit this surprises me, Blackwater, or whatever they are calling themselves these days, pretty much had unlimited funds to throw at lawyers and high powered ones at that.

Four former Blackwater security guards were found guilty Wednesday in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad, and a federal judge ordered them immediately to jail.

In an overwhelming victory for prosecutors, a jury found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder. The three other guards -- Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard -- were found guilty of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun charges.

The four men had been charged with a combined 33 counts in the shootings and the jury was able to reach a verdict on all of them, with the exception of three charges against Heard. The prosecution agreed to drop those charges.

The outcome after a summerlong trial and weeks of jury deliberation stunned the defense.

David Schertler, a lawyer for Heard, said "the verdict is wrong, it's incomprehensible. We're devastated. We're going to fight it every step of the way. We still think we're going to win."

The shootings on Sept. 16, 2007, caused an international uproar over the role of defense contractors in urban warfare.

The State Department hired Blackwater to protect American diplomats in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, and elsewhere in the country. Blackwater convoys of four heavily armored vehicles operated in risky environments where car bombs and attacks by insurgents were common.

Slatten was charged with first-degree murder; the others were charged with voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun charges.

The case was mired in legal battles for years, making it uncertain whether the defendants would ever be tried.

Sure there will be appeals from now until no one even remembers who these guys are or what happened but in the mean time they are cooling their heels in the slammer.

Blackwater changed their name after this all came out but they are still out there, hired thugs and mercenaries with more equipment and firepower than some countries armies.

We were paying for all that because our government hired these guys.


  1. Once in a while they have to throw the underlings to the wolves. All part of doing business.

  2. Blackwater may have a lot of money but the prosecution.......the government.... has unlimited money. They also have the edge in deciding who does and does not sit on the jury. The fact that in federal court cases the gov wins better than 99% of the cases is a good indicator that the system is rigged.

  3. Brag to the voters about how many troops we need. Then activate and call up all National Guard and Reservists, all without ever declaring a real war. Then just hire a bunch of mercenaries and lie some more....


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