September 21, 2007

blackwater_fallujah1.jpg AP Via Yahoo:

Iraqi investigators have a videotape that shows Blackwater USA guards opened fire against civilians without provocation in an incident last week in which 11 people died, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday. He said the case was referred to the Iraqi judiciary.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said Iraqi authorities had completed an investigation into the Sept. 16 shooting in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths.

He told The Associated Press that the conclusion was based on witness statements as well as videotape shot by cameras at the nearby headquarters of the national police command. He said eight people were killed at the scene and three of the 15 wounded died in hospitals. Read more...

C&L has been documenting Blackwater's activities for some time now. While it would be heartening to think these investigations by the Iraqi government will end in justice for the families of the murdered, it's not a likely outcome. It's put up or shut up time for the Bush administration -- if the Iraqi government is truly sovereign as they love to shout at every opportunity, they need to step back and let them make their own decisions. In a separate matter, Blackwater has released a statement in which they deny illegal arms activities in Iraq.

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