Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards were charged with manslaughter and weapons violations in the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians in a hail of gunfire and explosives at a busy Baghdad intersection. The government said they displayed a disregard for human life.
The defendants chose to surrender to authorities in Utah today and were to appear in federal court in Salt Lake City. Government officials said at a news conference it intends to try them in Washington, where support for the war in Iraq isn’t likely to be as strong as in the western state.
A sixth Blackwater guard pleaded guilty last week to voluntary manslaughter and related charges, prosecutors said. The firearms charge against the five defendants carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 30 years and the penalty for manslaughter is 10 years.
Paul Bremer is probably not too happy right about now.
Paul Bremer is responsible for many of the problems in Iraq after Bush gave him the power to run things there and Order 17 stands out today after the Iraqis gave the boot to Blackwater today.
Order 17 gives all foreign personnel in the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority immunity from "local criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction and from any form of arrest or detention other than by persons acting on behalf of their parent states."
U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer is expected to extend Order 17 as one of his last acts before shutting down the occupation next week, U.S. officials said. The order is expected to last an additional six or seven months, until the first national elections are held.
John Cusack's vision for his great movie War, Inc. came out of him being appalled by the Blackwater's that were created by BushCo. when the political climate in this country was not, let's say on the ball about these matters. In other words, he had a lot of trouble trying to make this movie. He had guts and I can't thank him enough...