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IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

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pengo
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IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by pengo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:10 am

The Huffington Post wrote: BAGHDAD — Iraqis seeking justice for 17 people shot dead at a Baghdad intersection responded with bitterness and outrage Friday at a U.S. judge's decision to throw out a case against a Blackwater security team accused in the killings.
..
What happened on Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007, raised Iraqi concerns about their sovereignty because Iraqi officials were powerless to do anything to the Blackwater employees who had immunity from local prosecution. The shootings also highlighted the degree to which the U.S. relied on private contractors during the Iraq conflict.
..
Five guards from the company were charged in the case with manslaughter and weapons violations. The charges carried mandatory 30-year prison terms, but a federal judge Friday dismissed all the charges.
..
Iraqis have followed the case closely and said the judge's decision demonstrated that the Americans were considered above the law.
"I was not astonished by the verdict because the trial was unreal. They are using double standards and talking about human rights, but they are the first to violate these rights. They are killing innocents deliberately," said Ahmed Jassim, a civil engineer in the southern city of Najaf.
..
Gen. Ray Odierno, the commanding general in Iraq, said he understood that people would be upset with the decision.
"Of course people are not going to like it, because they believe that these individuals conducted some violence and should be punished for it, but the bottom line is, using the rule of law, the evidence is not there," he said. "I worry about it because clearly there were innocent people killed in this attack."
..
An October 2007 report by a House of Representatives committee called Blackwater an out-of-control outfit indifferent to Iraqi civilian casualties. Blackwater chairman Erik Prince told the committee that the company acted appropriately at all times.
..
Were the incident to happen again today, the legal outcome might be much different. The U.S.-Iraqi security pact that took effect Jan. 1, 2009, lifted the immunity that foreign contractors had in Iraq. A British security contractor accused of shooting two colleagues is currently being held in Iraq and could be the first Westerner to face an Iraqi court since the immunity was lifted.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/0 ... 09212.html" target="_blank

Good to see the the immunity has been removed, as it would appear a lot of us mercenaries were operating like cowboys in Iraq. This does nothing to help improve US(Western)/Middle Eastern relations. It just fuels the hatred and further drives people to be radicalised. The bit I bolded and in italics, what the Iraqi remarked is gets to the crux of the matter really.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by cheeba » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:29 am

For those counting, this is Pengo obsessing about America post #2,381.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by pengo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:56 am

cheeba wrote:For those counting, this is Pengo obsessing about America post #2,381.
Good to see you ignoring what the post is about. Ignorance is bliss?

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by hepcat » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:04 am

He's simply pointing out that you obviously have an agenda. Unfortunately, that agenda appears to be bashing the U.S. by finding any and all negative news articles and then regurgitating them as if they were indicative of America's failure as a nation. Personally, I think someone should start posting all the great stuff Australians have done to further the cause of racism. You guys are like the Klan...but with a more lenient dress code.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by pengo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:48 am

lol yes Australia is a racist nation... :doh: If Australia is so racist then why do we give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ie "the blacks") such a free ride? They have it better than most, its not Australia's fault they are too busy trapped in the past and like to play the victim. If Obama did the same, he wouldn't be President now would he?

Like the Iraqi said, the US talks a big game about human rights, but its actions seem to be everything but for that (Gitmo, Abu Gharib, Torture, Locking up Japanese Citizens during WW2, Vietnam abuses et al, No vote for the "blacks", slavery etc). I don't see Australia doing the same (well do I concede we have a racist past, but to say we are racist now, is a bit rich). And as you touched on, which nation does the KKK originate from now? Hmm?

And yes America does fail in some aspects as a nation, it wasn't Australia that lead the way in the GFC fiasco now was it?

I will forever be critical of the US if they are going to continue with their rhetoric of being the champion of freedom and all that is good.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by hepcat » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:05 am

pengo wrote:lol yes Australia is a racist nation... :doh: If Australia is so racist then why do we give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ie "the blacks") such a free ride? They have it better than most, its not Australia's fault they are too busy trapped in the past and like to play the victim.
It wasn't until 1976 that The Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed. It wasn't until the 90's that you finally started giving them actual rights.

Face it, you're the proud son of a racist country that only recently started to listen to the cries of your victims.
Like the Iraqi said, the US talks a big game about human rights, but its actions seem to be everything but for that (Gitmo, Abu Gharib, Torture, Locking up Japanese Citizens during WW2, Vietnam abuses et al, No vote for the "blacks", slavery etc). I don't see Australia doing the same (well do I concede we have a racist past, but to say we are racist now, is a bit rich). And as you touched on, which nation does the KKK originate from now? Hmm?
Cronulla riots
Stolen Generations
The 2009 attacks on Indians in Australia
The abolishment of ATSIC
Pauline Hanson

shall I go on?

Seriously, are you really that blinded by hatred of the U.S. that you can't look out your own window and see trouble in your backyard? this is why no one really takes you seriously. You're an amazing hypocrite.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by pengo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:20 am

Touche, but it is a bit rich coming from the proud son of a country that was pro slavery, has gitmo, pro torture, extraordinary rendition, et al.

If we are going to count the number of bad things that our respective countries have done, Australia pales in comparison to the USA. As far as the natives are concerned, I don't think the American Indians fared to well compared to the Australian Aboriginals.

Hate is a strong word and I do not hate the USA, all I am is disappointed and I'm critical of the Champions of Freedom who are the World Police.. :D
Last edited by pengo on Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by hepcat » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:28 am

Australia also doesn't have as much of an international presence as the U.S.. America may mess up here and there, but at least we try to go out there and do good things. I would bet everything I have that if you counted up the number of success stories from America on the international front and compared them to Australia's numbers, it wouldn't even be in the same ballpark. Yeah, we fail sometimes in our efforts, we're human...but at least we actually TRY do do something for the world.

Now why don't you go and search the 'net for some more news stories about how f'ed up our country is instead of actually trying to do something good for the world?

p.s. i noticed you edited your replies in order to tone down the anti-american sentiment after being called out on it. a day late and a dollar short, though.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by pengo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:35 am

Yes! America does do good things and plenty of them, but it is the bad that seems to detract from the good and do the US a disservice.

Also Australia does as much as it is able to for the world, and we tend to help out the US and other nations whenever we can. Furthermore Australia doesn't have as much an international presence as the U.S as we don't believe we need to be the world police, and well our size has a determing factor. Tho if we have it in our power to do good and assist we do. To say Australia doesn't do any good for the world, is ignorant.

ps - which posts are you referring to? I have a bad habit of going over my posts and revising them via "edit" instead of using "preview". You are mistaken to say I am anti-american, but I guess thats a fair critique since I'm bit of a negative nelly when it comes to America. If I am anti-american, then why would I support evil americans buy buying their games, seeing their movies etc?

Just for you here is my Late Show Top 10 things from America:

10) American Cuisine
9) American sports (NFL, NBA)
8) Computer Games
7) American Movies (e.g. Back to the Future trilogy, Star Wars, James Cameron movies, Dances with Wolves)
6) American TV Shows [House, ER, Star Trek, Breaking Bad, Stargate [sg1, atlantis, universe], MacGyver)
5) Seinfeld (its just that good it gets its own seperate mention)
4) The Internet
3) Americans (Michael Jordan, Natalie Portman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Ferrell, Dave Chapelle, Richard Dean Andersen, Obama, Paul Watson, Tiger Woods (as a golfer))
2) America's Natural Beauty (Flora & Fauna)
1) Sea Shepherd

:D

Happy New Year and I hope the next decade is an improvement on the last. For every living thing on planet Earth.

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cheeba
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by cheeba » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:55 pm

pengo wrote:
cheeba wrote:For those counting, this is Pengo obsessing about America post #2,381.
Good to see you ignoring what the post is about. Ignorance is bliss?
Pengo, you'll notice lots of people ignoring your posts, considering you've become a ridiculous anti-American troll. Really, dude, you need to assess whether or not Octopus Overlords is the right forum for you. If you think it is, then you need to be up front with your agenda and you need to stop trolling, else few people are going to read your tiring America-obsessed posts and even fewer are going to post in them. Because this 1990's AOL trolling crap don't fly here.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by The Preacher » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:07 pm

pengo wrote:Yes! America does do good things and plenty of them, but it is the bad that seems to detract from the good and do the US a disservice.

Also Australia does as much as it is able to for the world, and we tend to help out the US and other nations whenever we can. Furthermore Australia doesn't have as much an international presence as the U.S as we don't believe we need to be the world police, and well our size has a determing factor. Tho if we have it in our power to do good and assist we do. To say Australia doesn't do any good for the world, is ignorant.

ps - which posts are you referring to? I have a bad habit of going over my posts and revising them via "edit" instead of using "preview". You are mistaken to say I am anti-american, but I guess thats a fair critique since I'm bit of a negative nelly when it comes to America. If I am anti-american, then why would I support evil americans buy buying their games, seeing their movies etc?

Just for you here is my Late Show Top 10 things from America:

10) American Cuisine
9) American sports (NFL, NBA)
8) Computer Games
7) American Movies (e.g. Back to the Future trilogy, Star Wars, James Cameron movies, Dances with Wolves)
6) American TV Shows [House, ER, Star Trek, Breaking Bad, Stargate [sg1, atlantis, universe], MacGyver)
5) Seinfeld (its just that good it gets its own seperate mention)
4) The Internet
3) Americans (Michael Jordan, Natalie Portman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Ferrell, Dave Chapelle, Richard Dean Andersen, Obama, Paul Watson, Tiger Woods (as a golfer))
2) America's Natural Beauty (Flora & Fauna)
1) Sea Shepherd

:D

Happy New Year and I hope the next decade is an improvement on the last. For every living thing on planet Earth.
Or
You do not take from this universe. It grants you what it will.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Rip » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:13 pm

Don't hate the player, hate the game!

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Holman » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:40 pm

FWIW, I thought the case against the Blackwater murderers ("alleged") was dropped not because the US thinks Americans are above the law but because the gov't prosecutors mishandled the case. The way they took the accused killers' statements involved blunders that would make the case incapable of anything but acquittal. (I'm sure that one of our lawyerly brothers and sisters can explain this more accurately.)

It's an unfortunate result, if you ask me. But a system capable of throwing out the government's own case would seem to be one that respects the law over the whims of power, would it not?
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Victoria Raverna » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:32 pm

Paul Roberts wrote:FWIW, I thought the case against the Blackwater murderers ("alleged") was dropped not because the US thinks Americans are above the law but because the gov't prosecutors mishandled the case. The way they took the accused killers' statements involved blunders that would make the case incapable of anything but acquittal. (I'm sure that one of our lawyerly brothers and sisters can explain this more accurately.)

It's an unfortunate result, if you ask me. But a system capable of throwing out the government's own case would seem to be one that respects the law over the whims of power, would it not?
Maybe to the Iraqi, it is also system where the government prosecutors intentionally mishandled the case to force this result? :)

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by pengo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:51 pm

Paul Roberts wrote:FWIW, I thought the case against the Blackwater murderers ("alleged") was dropped not because the US thinks Americans are above the law but because the gov't prosecutors mishandled the case. The way they took the accused killers' statements involved blunders that would make the case incapable of anything but acquittal. (I'm sure that one of our lawyerly brothers and sisters can explain this more accurately.)

It's an unfortunate result, if you ask me. But a system capable of throwing out the government's own case would seem to be one that respects the law over the whims of power, would it not?
Yes if people would read the article rather than act the poster, they would discover this.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Unagi » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:07 pm

pengo wrote:
Paul Roberts wrote:FWIW, I thought the case against the Blackwater murderers ("alleged") was dropped not because the US thinks Americans are above the law but because the gov't prosecutors mishandled the case. The way they took the accused killers' statements involved blunders that would make the case incapable of anything but acquittal. (I'm sure that one of our lawyerly brothers and sisters can explain this more accurately.)

It's an unfortunate result, if you ask me. But a system capable of throwing out the government's own case would seem to be one that respects the law over the whims of power, would it not?
Yes if people would read the article rather than act the poster, they would discover this.
Then why did you label this thread the way you did? :? ... unless I am missing what Paul said and what you agreed to.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:41 pm

Someone who is already hostile or at least wary towards the American Government could easily read the situation as Victoria suggests. Especially if they don't understand the difference between court (government) and court appointed attorney (government).

Hell, I'm neither hostile nor particularly wary and when I read Paul's post my immediate thought is that his comments did more to implicate government wrong-doing than exonerate it.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Holman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:20 pm

To fully clarify what I said: the government wanted to prosecute but botched it, and a judge said "you botched it, end of case." This is bad news. I would love to see rogue mercenaries put behind bars for killing civilians.

And, sure, many people in many countries will have trouble understanding this because they're not used to a legal system that is independent of the ruling party.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by hepcat » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:41 pm

I think the general American public agrees that these guys are scum bags, to be honest. There's been enough news stories outlining their less than savory exploits in the news the last few years. It's only because of the situation Paul is bringing up that they aren't in jail right now, imho.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:48 pm

hepcat wrote:I think the general American public agrees that these guys are scum bags, to be honest. There's been enough news stories outlining their less than savory exploits in the news the last few years. It's only because of the situation Paul is bringing up that they aren't in jail right now, imho.
Yes, but for someone already predisposed to believe ill of the American Government, it could come across as it being a government sanctioned and intentional "mishandling" of the trial, resulting in the imagined outcome. i.e. American mercenaries free to kill with impunity.

An unfortunate situation, to be sure.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by LordMortis » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:54 pm

Paul Roberts wrote:And, sure, many people in many countries will have trouble understanding this because they're not used to a legal system that is independent of the ruling party.
I don't think that's why they wouldn't understand. I think they would feel (and possibly rightfully so) troubled because they see Americans letting Americans abuse civil rights while holding American sense of law (or corruption of law) as more important than the non Americans they killed laying dead in the streets.

That's a big problem when you claim the moral ground but are also an occupying force.

It's a big blow to capitalism to the glories of "the Free world" I would think. Those who would give up Essential Safety to purchase a little Temporary Liberty, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety or some such thing.

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by LordMortis » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:38 pm

AFGHANISTAN: US Contractors not above the law.

Because pengo might be otherwise obtained and I am sure somewhere he chomping at the bit to get this posted.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/01/07/afg ... =allsearch" target="_blank

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:39 pm

LordMortis wrote:Because pengo might be otherwise obtained...
I don't want to obtain anymore pengos. I think the one we have is sufficient, even if there is a discount or rebate offered.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by The Meal » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:42 pm

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by SpaceLord » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:35 pm

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by AWS260 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:36 pm

Guilty.
CBS News wrote:A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts for all four former Blackwater security guards charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad.

The jury in Washington found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder.

The three other three guards - Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard - were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

CBS News' Paula Reid reports that the verdict sheet asked the jury to make more than 100 separate findings pertaining to 33 counts against the four defendants.

The jury had reached verdicts on only part of the charges, but Judge Royce Lamberth allowed them to announce the verdicts on Wednesday that they had reached.

The jury is expected to continue deliberating on the other counts.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat May 14, 2016 5:52 pm

You can take the merc out of Blackwater...
You might also remember Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL who founded Blackwater in 1997.
...
On April 11, The Intercept published a story accusing Prince of illegally weaponizing light aircraft. Prince, the story alleges, converted two Thrush 510Gs, which are usually used as crop dusters, into light attack planes capable of carrying a wide array of weapons and aerial reconnaissance payloads.

The extensive modifications reportedly included ballistic glass and Kevlar armor for the cockpit plus anti-explosive mesh for the fuel tank as well as hardpoints compatible with both NATO and Warsaw Pact guided and unguided munitions.

The story reads like a spy novel. It describes how Prince allegedly hid behind a network of shell companies, concealing the real nature of the airplane modifications from the board of the very company that paid for them, Frontier Services Group, of which Prince is the founder and chairman.
...
Even by merely modifying and transferring two aircraft, Prince has likely exposed himself to criminal investigations in two countries. The concept of a roaming band of aerial mercenaries, in addition to having a very limited customer base, would likely not be tolerated by the international community.
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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Smoove_B » Sat May 14, 2016 5:54 pm

"Was that wrong? Should I have not done that?"

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Re: IRAQ: US Contractors above the law.

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:28 pm

AWS260 wrote:
Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:36 pm
Guilty.
CBS News wrote:A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts for all four former Blackwater security guards charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad.

The jury in Washington found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder.
Round 3
A former Blackwater security guard whose 2014 murder conviction was vacated on appeal was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday, ending the Justice Department’s long pursuit of accountability for a 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Baghdad that drew international condemnation during the Iraq War, the U.S. attorney’s office for Washington said.

A federal jury deliberated five days before finding Nicholas A. Slatten, 35, guilty of first-degree murder after a five-week trial in Washington, D.C.

It was the third time since 2014 that Slatten was on trial over the deaths at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad’s Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007.
...
But in August 2017, a federal appeals court, tossed Slatten’s life sentence and ordered a new trial, saying he should have been tried separately from a co-defendant, Paul A. Slough, 39. Slough had told investigators days after the shootings that he, not Slatten, fired the first rounds.

Slatten then received a retrial that ended in a hung jury in September, with the defense saying the convoy members had been acting in self-defense.
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