Investigations

Ex-Blackwater guards get life, 30-year sentences for Baghdad massacre

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 …from  Russia Today,  Moscow

 

[ Editor’s Note:  Despite the legal aspects of this horrendous event winding down as we enter the final appeals process, both the victims and these perpetrators lives will remain changed forever.

But this was a just a smidgen of justice for the huge number of crimes done to the Iraqi people not just by the contractors, but the US military itself.

Insurgency warfare is never pretty. But the air of immunity that hung over the ongoing murder show in Iraq contributed to its being far worse than it should have been.

The major injustice is that no one corporately involved in the training of these hair trigger killers was tried for what these men were taught to do. And by that I mean that even in a densely populated area, as soon as one of their people opened fire, the rest were to deem themselves to be in a free fire zone and to eliminate any threats.

I am sure the Blackwater lawyers chose the wording carefully, but we know that this was interpreted to mean shoot everybody around you to eliminate any “possible threats”. In this city environment there was no opportunity to plant weapons to cover themselves as we know bad elements of our military did out in the field.

These Iraqis were shot up like targets on the training range
These Iraqis were shot up like targets on the training range

Even though these men saw no incoming fire, saw no one with a weapon, they just blasted away at all the cars in the intersection.

This was a result of their training…and that warm blanket of immunity the guards felt that Blackwater had wired in to their contract, that when mistakes were made, money would be paid and that would be the end of it.

It was for the victims, and the contractor people at the top, just like the military brass over Abu Graib, none of whom were even charged despite knowing exactly what was going on there. I would like to say that maybe something good was learned from this, but I would be lying.

The bigwigs breathe easier now with another confirmation that only those down the line will be held responsible for events like this. Hence we have State sponsored terrorism becoming an accepted foreign policy destabilizing tool. “Me thinks we doth not protest enough.”Jim W. Dean ]

_____________________________

–  First published  … April 13 ,  2015  –

 

Blackwater escaped being put on trial
Blackwater escaped being put on trial

Four men who worked for the private military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater were sentenced in federal court on Monday, more than seven years after they massacred Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad.

A sentencing hearing for the four men – Nicholas Slatten, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty and Paul Slough – began at 10 a.m. ET in Washington, DC on Monday. Later in the afternoon, the Washington Post reported that Slatten was handed a sentence of life behind bars, while his three ex-colleagues were each dealt 30-year sentences as a result of firearms convictions they were handed last fall..

Six months earlier, a jury convicted Slatten, a former Blackwater security guard, of first-degree murder for his role in the infamous September 2007 ambush.

Together, the men participated in a rampage in the busy Baghdad traffic circle during the height of the Iraq War that left 14 civilians dead. Blackwater, which has since changed its name to Academi, had deployed the guards there along with others to provide diplomatic security services during the American-led military operation.

Attorneys for the former contractors filed an emergency motion on Friday asking the court to delay this week’s sentencing hearing in light of newly discovered evidence they wanted entered in the case, but the request was ultimately rejected that afternoon by US District Judge Royce Lamberth.

Kristen Slough, a wife of one of the former guards sentenced this week, said during a press conference following Monday’s sentencing that attorneys will file motions in the coming days in which they’ll request new trials.

“Defendants, who have been confined since the verdict, do not lightly seek delay, or seek delay for its own sake. But these issues deserve full consideration by the Court: it would be unfair to proceed to impose sentence and enter judgment when this new evidence, disclosed less than two days ago, leaves the trial result fundamentally in doubt,” defense lawyers wrote, to no avail.

The Associated Press said attorneys for the defendants were likely to argue for mercy from the court during Monday’s sentencing, but prosecutors with the federal government asked that the court consider more than just the mandatory minimum 30-year sentences for the three convicted for using military firearms while committing a felony.

According to the Washington Post, the government has asked for a 57-year sentence for Slough, who was also convicted of 13 counts of manslaughter and 17 counts of attempted manslaughter; 51 years for Liberty, also convicted of eight counts of manslaughter and 12 counts of attempted manslaughter; and 47 years for Heard, also convicted of six counts of manslaughter and 11 counts of attempted manslaughter. Slatten faces a mandatory prison sentence of life without parole.

“The crimes here were so horrendous – the massacre and maiming of innocents so heinous – that they outweigh any factors that the defendants may argue form a basis for leniency,” the Post quoted from the prosecution’s filing.

Biography
Managing Editor
Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews.

He broke into television work doing Atlanta Public TV programs for variety of American heritage, historical, military, veterans and Intel topics and organizations since 2000. Jim's only film appearance was in the PBS Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates, and he has guest lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon, GA.

He is working to find time now to database his extensive video archive of Americana and interviews filmed during his public TV days so individual topic segments can be key word searched to quickly use in future multi-media projects.

Read Full Complete Bio >>>Jim's Archives 2009-2014

17 Replies to “Ex-Blackwater guards get life, 30-year sentences for Baghdad massacre

  1. They will never have to serve these long sentences. When things cool down they will be given new ID etc and then be free to go on to the next “call of duty”

  2. As the useless waste away in the tiny jail cells they can be assured the boss they worked for is living large on bankers comforts. Just tools to be put away and forgotten like the enlisted they should have been.

  3. somewhat related, the story about Americans sending their military family members high quality body armor to wear so they might survive and return home, but their “commanders” not allowing them to wear the stuff?! same high quality body armor blackwater mercs CAN have, gee what could be wrong with this picture?

    they get paid 10x what military gets, from the same sources (taxpayer “national deficit” they like to keep hidden with slushie-funds of course), to do things that gets real military killed?!

  4. not only eric prince who’s moved HQ to Dubai to be “legally untouchable”, but also all the scumbags in the District of Criminals who decided it it OK to pay mercenaries 10x what the military gets to do things the military is not allowed to do, AND disarm our military whenever they want TOO. they go out stirring up hornets nests then run for the “green zone”, leaving the military behind to catch the wrath (bullets!) of the hornets is VERY treasonous! real military personnel SHOULD be able to shoot the “contractors” (like hit man contracts) on sight!

  5. America has a large and extremely effective and well trained army, there is absolutely no excuse for mercenarys to be anywhere near a combat zone unless of course they are enemy combatants.

    1. THAT, is exactly what they are, and traitors who’s “order following” actions get actual military personnel killed on a fairly regular basis. they TRY to use “civilian status” as excuse to outrank military, the CMM aka MSM told us about “American contractors” being killed so we’d think “Bob the Builder” instead of MAFIA HIT MEN who’s “citizenship” should be revoked as fast as signing the criminal contract to do things our military is not allowed to..

  6. Rothschild has primary control of most of the money in the world — not the Queen of England nor Pope Francis . Central banking is a Rothschild creation . Rothschilds are { divinely chosen ones } by the assumption of talmudic judaism . { Divine status } has its privileges such as ” killing , looting , raping , and destroying all [ that is not divine ] “. Rothschilds & Associates will remain privileged unless the vast mass of goyim acquire the intelligence and courage to revoke their divine status and let them suffer under the rule of humanity .

  7. First of all, Blackwater should change its name to Wastewater, Sludge-water, etc. Because that’s all they are — sewer sludge.

    Next there’s the matter of the bear paw on their stupid poster. Do they really think themselves akin to such a noble animal? How so? Bears are rugged creatures that look after their young, defend their own territory, and only fight when necessary. These Latrine Water louts are cowardly losers who are devoid of familial structure, have no respect for anyone’s territory, neither America’s nor anyone else’s, and sign up to be serial killers with a paycheck. They are vermin.

    Third, does anyone really think they will serve 30 years? When things calm down someone will spring them to be recycled elsewhere since they are proven killers. Or maybe not– their handers might be concerned about their homicidal enthusiasm and keeping it on a leash. Worse still, they might be expressing regret and remorse which Sludge-water might not like.

    Fourth, how did they get caught and all the others get off the hook? Since when do these creeps ever get caught let alone tried? Does anyone else find this odd? Has anyone yet caught the other Sludger who was filmed in Ukraine shooting where he didn’t belong? Maybe he had good connections and these jerks were just cannon fodder.

    And last, has anyone looked at their past–school transcripts and similar for records of anti-social behavior? It is unlikely that the average young man would knowingly sign up

    1. would knowingly sign up for such a brutally depraved assignment unless there was a severe moral problem in the mix. So the idiots got left with the hot potato and now they’re in jail. They must have really thought they counted for something. But they are finding out the hard way that in a criminal enterprise nobody counts for anything.

  8. If this happened during a war, with a draft in America, I would be surprised, but what do I know.

    On the other hand, going to Halliburton, Black-water, merc’s, was NO coincidence, this is what the neo-cons wanted, escalating the conflict, more revenge killing, hatred.

    Does anyone know if the films of Israeli snipers killing American soldiers in Iraq, to stir up the animosity and killing in Iraq are real (they were available on the ‘Net)? It wouldn’t surprise me, but I don’t know if real or bogus.

    1. There was a VT article that analyzed those videos and concluded that there was solid grounds to believe they were real . It convinced me . I cannot remember the article title .

  9. This one will reverberate around the bazaars. The hired gun industry has changed overnight on this judgement. Only jewish mass murderers and talmudic paedophiles are above the law on this planet.

    1. “” Only jewish mass murderers and talmudic paedophiles are above the law on this planet.””

      Superb observation .

  10. They thought they were above the law. Logically, since they were getting excellent pay as mercenaries for a US regime that displays decade after decade that it “is above the law”. The rigidly controlled mass media in the US prevents the public knowing what is going on.

    1. Banksters are the ones whom are acutely aware of ” the structure of human life ” as it is called in the ” Protocols of the ILLuminati ” ( aka Elders of Zion ) since they provide the financing for human infrastructures that support life . Sociologists study infrastructure related social phenomena caused more or less by bankster financing .

      Overarching control of mass media was acquired by the 1913 Federal Reserve banksters to prevent public hysteria about their takeover of the national public currency-money system . Those banksters understood a simple formulation : [ no mass media discourse about it ] == [ no public consciousness of it ] .

      For one hundred years the USA public has been oblivious to the greatest financial fraud in history — the 1913 Federal Reserve Act . The sheeple and their given politicians are now too afraid of the predatory luciferian banksters to repeal the 1913 Act . Welcome to the Brave New World .

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