The U.S. military reports appear to corroborate the Iraqi government's contention that Blackwater was at fault in the shooting incident in Nisoor Square, in which hospital records say at least 14 people were killed and 18 were wounded.
"It was obviously excessive, it was obviously wrong," said the U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident remains the subject of several investigations. "The civilians that were fired upon, they didn't have any weapons to fire back at them. And none of the IP or any of the local security forces fired back at them," he added, using a military abbreviation for the Iraqi police. The Blackwater guards appeared to have fired grenade launchers in addition to machine guns, the official said.
Yesterday, over "strong opposition" from the White House, the House passed "the Blackwater Bill" by a whopping veto-proof 389-30 that would expand US court jurisdiction to all US civilian contractors working in combat zones, and Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry are said to be proposing to similar legislation in the Senate.