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Blackwater Got Immunity?

Dan Froomkin noted today, "In the wake of last month's shooting of 17 civilians by Blackwater gunmen in Baghdad, the Bush administration is finally ac

Dan Froomkin noted today, "In the wake of last month's shooting of 17 civilians by Blackwater gunmen in Baghdad, the Bush administration is finally acknowledging -- more than four years late -- that private security contractors in Iraq should operate under the law."

But as it turns out, it might be more scandalous than just a giant loophole in the law.

The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned.

As a result, it will likely be months before the United States can _ if ever _ bring criminal charges in the case that has infuriated the Iraqi government.

"Once you give immunity, you can't take it away," said a senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.

A State Department spokesman did not have an immediate comment Monday.

Stay tuned.

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