Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Horrible Verdict In Blackwater Butchers' Trial Seems To Loom

Almost seven years have passed since the September 16, 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, Iraq, by psychopathic killers in the employ of Eric Prince, scion of a rich and extremely reactionary American family who founded a company of military mercenaries which he called at the time Blackwater. Seventeen Iraqi civilians, including two doctors and a young child, were slaughtered as they sat trapped in their cars in a traffic jam while Blackwater murderers indulged themselves in a killing spree just for the hell of it. (In criminal parlance, a thrill kill.)

I'm not going to rehash the horrendous details here, as they are readily available and there is only one side to this story. The Blackwater “side” is and has always been pure fantasy. There was no “combat,” no “shootout,” no “attack” on them, period.

Throughout this matter, the U.S. government has dragged its feet and the State Department has done its best to protect the Blackwater butchers it employed. Now four of the culprits are awaiting a jury verdict. Only one is even charged with murder- the others are charged only with manslaughter. (The Federal prosecutors, highly skilled, elite lawyers, deliberately threw the case at the outset so a judge dismissed the original charges. Political pressure eventually forced a second round of charges to be brought.) The U.S. media of course has kept this horrible atrocity well buried, mostly ignoring it except when dry stories are offered devoid of the human details and couched in much obfuscation to give credit to the Blackwater goons' preposterous lies.

We had an advance indication of the expected verdict in the form of a New York Times article on the trial that read like a defense lawyer's brief for the Blackwater butchers. Utterly sickening, it omitting all details of the slaughter, deliberately obfuscating what happened with stunning clarity on that day in that place, stressing “chaos” (the old “fog of war” alibi for U.S. atrocities), the article clearly was meant to prepare public opinion to accept an acquittal as reasonable, if not entirely just. But an acquittal would be a grotesque travesty- but not unexpected, given the nature and history of the United States and the political uses of its judicial system.

An Internet search of “Nisour Square massacre” will lead you to plenty of information. (“Nisoor” in some spellings.) I can recommend “As Jury Takes Up Blackwater Massacre in Nisoor Square, a Grieving Iraqi Father Recalls Son’s Death,” Democracy Now!, Sept. 2, 2014.

For a synopsis of the massacre, see “The Blackwater/Nisoor Square Massacre,” news.

See also “Blackwater leader threatened to kill State Dept. official before Nisour Square massacre: NYT,” The Raw Story, June 30, 2014. The New York Times' article cited by that story has the anodyne title “Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater,” June 29.

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