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Fed Judge Gives Blackwater Huge New Year’s Gift, Dismisses All Charges In Iraq Massacre

By Jeremy Scahill | Rebel Reports | December 31, 2009

A federal judge in Washington DC has given Erik Prince’s Blackwater mercenaries a huge New Year’s gift. Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed all charges against the five Blackwater operatives accused of gunning down 14 innocent Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in September 2007. Judge Urbina’s order, issued late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve is a stunning blow for the Iraqi victims’ families and sends a clear message that US-funded mercenaries are above all systems of law—US and international.

In a memo defending his opinion, Urbina cited a similar rationale used in the dismissal of charges against Iran-Contra figure Oliver North—namely that the government violated the rights of the Blackwater men by using statements they made to investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shooting to build a case against the guards, which Urbina said qualified for “derivative use immunity.” Urbina wrote that he agreed that “the government violated [the Blackwater guards’] constitutional rights by utilizing statements they made to Department of State investigators, which were compelled under a threat of job loss.” He added that the “government is prohibited from using such compelled statements or any evidence obtained as a result of those statements” to bring indictments.

Urbina concluded: “the government has utterly failed to prove that it made no impermissible use of the defendants’ statements or that such use was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the court must dismiss the indictment against all of the defendants.”

The Nisour Square massacre was the single deadliest incident involving private US forces in Iraq. Seventeen Iraqis were killed and more than twenty wounded.

For those interested, here are the judge’s order and the 90 page memo defending the order.

December 31, 2009 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes

6 Comments »

  1. Just more evidence of the corruption in Washington. The elite are in control and have impunity. Until they are taken care of we the people will continue to see murderers given impunity.

    Comment by spirittoo | January 1, 2010 | Reply

  2. I got news for you: It isn’t murder when those Iraqi “civilians” are firing AKs at you. Did you ever see those contractors’ vehicles, riddled with bullet holes? Oh, wait, NO ONE DID! Something that’s constantly and conveniently left out of all these biased reports is that THEY WERE FIRED UPON FIRST AND WERE DEFENDING THEMSELVES!

    Comment by That Guy | March 28, 2010 | Reply

    • TG,

      It’s as though you think that people have the right to resist against occupation?

      Wow.

      Comment by aletho | March 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Bullshit … the US and those greedy contractors have no right to be in that country … they didn’t attack us … and it is their land that the US is ILLEGALLY occupying … they have every right to fire on anyone that illegally occupies their country … what part of that don’t you get?

      Comment by spirittoo | August 30, 2010 | Reply

      • Oh, so now I can shoo all of the illegal occupiers here where I live……good.

        Comment by leslie hobgood | December 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. Jeremy Scahill please get a life! All you do is complain.
    I think your upset with yourself. By never becoming a real soldier, for the United States.

    Comment by Stephen | August 28, 2010 | Reply


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