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Four Blackwater guards sentenced in Iraq shootings of 31 unarmed civilians

JANFU

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Four Blackwater guards sentenced in Iraq shootings of 31 unarmed civilians - The Washington Post

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth sentenced Nicholas A. Slatten of Sparta, Tenn., to life in prison. Slatten is the only of the four guards convicted of murder in the incident, in which American security contractors fired assault rifles and grenades into halted noonday traffic, a low point of the U.S. war in Iraq that sent relations between the two countries into a crisis.

Three other guards, Paul A. Slough of Keller, Tex.; Evan S. Liberty of Rochester, N.H.; and Dustin L. Heard of Knoxville, Tenn., were convicted of multiple counts of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the Sept. 16, 2007, incident at Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. All three were sentenced Monday to 30 years plus one day in prison.
Thoughts?
 

OrphanSlug

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Not sure how this could have turned out any other way.
 

JANFU

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Not sure how this could have turned out any other way.
Some background info you may not be aware of.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/us/trying-to-salvage-remains-of-blackwater-case.html

Prosecutors are trying to hold together what is left of it. But charges against one contractor were dropped last year because of a lack of evidence. And the government suffered another self-inflicted setback in April when a federal appeals court ruled that the prosecution had missed a deadline and allowed the statute of limitations to expire against a second contractor, Nicholas A. Slatten, a former Army sniper from Tennessee who investigators believe fired the first shots in Nisour Square. A judge then dismissed the case against Mr. Slatten.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/u...ice-dept-over-charges-in-blackwater-case.html

WASHINGTON — As prosecutors put the finishing touches on the 2008 indictment of Blackwater security contractors for a deadly shooting in Iraq, the F.B.I. agents leading the investigation became convinced that political appointees in the Justice Department were intentionally undermining the case, internal emails show.

The F.B.I. had wanted to charge the American contractors with the type of manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and weapons charges that could send them to prison for the rest of their lives for the shooting, which left more than a dozen Iraqis dead and many others wounded in September 2007.
 

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The sentences seem appropriate.

Blackwater, like any entity participating in security operations in a war-type setting, is required to heed the Laws of War when conducting security operations. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians is prohibited. If one goes back to the news coverage of the time, it appeared that Blackwater's actions were inappropriate and unlawful. In the aftermath of the shooting, the following information became available shortly after that tragedy:

1. None of the dead and wounded people were armed (Source: "Leila Fadel, Joseph Neff and Hussein Kadhim, "Security contractor under fire," Ottawa Citizen, September 18, 2007).
2. The police report on the incident declared that Blackwater's personnel "opened fire crazily and randomly, without any reason." (Source: "Private solders were unprovoked: Iraqi Investigators," Ottawa Citizen, October 1, 2007).
3. Witnesses did not report any gunfire prior to the incident nor any return gunfire against Blackwater's personnel (Source: Anne Davies, "One Blackwater guard yelled 'No, no, no,' Sydney Morning Herald, October 6, 2007).
4. Video footage contradicted the Blackwater account of events (Source: "Private solders were unprovoked: Iraqi Investigators," Ottawa Citizen, October 1, 2007).
 
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