[37], Henry Waxman, the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which held hearings on the use of Private Security Contractors in February 2007, said his committee would hold hearings "to understand what has happened and the extent of the damage to U.S. security interests". Their bodies were beaten and burned, with their charred corpses then dragged through the city streets before being hanged over a bridge crossing the Euphrates River. The Kia continued to roll forward after the driver was killed, according to an eyewitness, and Raven 23 continued to fire on it, killing the passenger (the driver's mother); eventually, the Kia was struck by a grenade and was incinerated. In their view, this confirmed that they were under attack by a vehicle bomb, whereupon they fired at the car, killing both people in it as well as the Iraqi policeman. Trump Just Pardoned Those Convicted Killers", "Pardons in killings of Iraqi civilians stir angry response", "Chief of Blackwater Defends His Employees", "Tracing the Paths of 5 Who Died in a Storm of Gunfire", "Blackwater Execs Remain Free as Guards Convicted for Killing 14 Iraqis in Massacre", Use of white phosphorus by the United States, United States and the International Criminal Court, A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, "The wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time", AfghanIraqi Freedom Memorial (Salem, Oregon), The Iraq War: A Historiography of Wikipedia Changelogs, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nisour_Square_massacre&oldid=1141803510, Violent non-state actor incidents in Asia, People convicted of murder by the United States federal government, Pages using embedded infobox templates with the title parameter, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 26 February 2023, at 22:05. [2] Reactions [ edit] Among his clients were the parents of a 9-year-old boy who was killed as he sat in the back of his father's car. A federal district court judge sentenced four former Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries to lengthy prison terms on Monday for their role in the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, Iraq in 2007. Luckily, before his SUV was attacked, Mohammed, his sister, and their children had time to duck into the car. The civil lawsuit was filed as a wrongful death and personal injury suit against the men and companies responsible for my clients losses. An initial prosecution was thrown out by a federal judge sparking outrage in Iraq but the then vice-president, Joe Biden, promised to pursue a fresh prosecution, which succeeded in 2015. It wasnt unusual for regular U.S. Army convoys to stop traffic. Blackwater has been renamed and falls under the Constellis group of companies, a risk management business formed in 2010. I am overwhelmed with emotion at this fantastic news.. Almost everyone who was killed or injured was shot in cars, taxis, or buses. Pepe Escobar (@RealPepeEscobar) March 1, 2022. [70] A second civil lawsuit filed jointly by the families of six victims against Blackwater was settled on January 6, 2012 for an undisclosed sum. However, the company was allowed to continue to operate in Iraq until January 2009 when the U.S.Iraq Status of Forces Agreement took effect. Their belief in our legal system was misplaced. An ambulance was called, and Ali and Mohammad were rushed to the other side of town. [21][75] In the memorandum opinion, Judge Urbina ruled the cases against Slough, Liberty, Heard, Ball, and Slatten had been improperly built on testimony given in exchange for immunity;[76] that evidence included statements the guards had been compelled to give to State Department investigators, and as these statements would have been self-incriminating, they could not be used as evidence under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Boslego also said the attack had a negative effect on our mission, [an] adverse effect It made our relationship with the Iraqis in general more strained.. "With those sentences reversed by the stroke of a pen, who will trust the American justice system again?". Five independent UN experts condemned United States President Donald Trump's pardoning of private security contractors, convicted in 2015 for war crimes in Iraq, on Wednesday. The Associated Press contributed to this report. [72] A sixth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway of California, struck a deal with prosecutors on December 4, 2008 and pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, and aiding and abetting,[72][3] and agreed to testify against the other five men. Blackwater is an American private military company . The American judiciary is fair and equitable. No wonder Russia formally issued an ultimatum on Tuesday, March 1, that it would target the hub of covert warfare. That may be the overriding damage caused by these pardons. [33], Three Blackwater guards who witnessed the incident later said that they believed the shootings were unjustified. "I consider what the security company personnel have done is a terrorist act, as many civilians were martyred and wounded," said Hashem, 41, a father of five who was partially disabled and forced to retire after the incident. Now they'll go free. Convoy Attacked in Baghdad, Sparking a Shootout", "3 Blackwater Guards Called Baghdad Shootings Unjustified", "Blackwater Denies Any Wrongdoing in Shooting Incident (Update1)", "Iraqi leader urges U.S. to cancel Blackwater contract", "Iraqi Investigators say Videotape Shows Blackwater Guards Fired Without Aggravation", "House Passes Bill That Would Hike Penalties for U.S. Security Contractors in Iraq", "Private Security Company Association Iraq", "Iraqi Government Disputes Blackwater USA's Version of Shooting", "Iraq battle was self-defense, security firm says", "FBI takes lead in probe over Blackwater crisis", "Blackwater most often shoots first, congressional report says", "Report: Blackwater Killings Unjustified", "From Texas to Iraq, and Center of Blackwater Case", No forensic match for ammo in Blackwater shooting, "The Associated Press: APNewsBreak: Blackwater founder questions FBI work", "Overcoming post-colonial myopia: A call to recognize and regulate private military companie"s, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Army, "Wounded Iraqis: 'No one did anything' to provoke Blackwater", "Blackwater incident witness: 'It was hell', Family Members of Slain Iraqis Sue Blackwater USA for Deadly Baghdad Shooting, "Blackwater Verdict a U.S. 'Snub' of Iraqi Leader Nouri al-Maliki: Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran", "White House: Contractor bill would have 'intolerable' effects", "Blackwater settles Nisoor Square lawsuit", "5 Blackwater guards face manslaughter charges", "Blackwater Guard in Secret Deal to Testify in Massacre Case", "US judge sets trial in 2010 for Blackwater guards", "Appeals court revives Blackwater shooting case", "US judge dismisses charges in Blackwater Iraq killings", "Reopening of Blackwater Case Confuses Iraqi Victims", "Biden Says U.S. Will Appeal Blackwater Case Dismissal (Published 2010)", "ICD - Slough et al. Erik Prince, chair of the Prince Group LLC and Blackwater USA, holds up a picture showing the effect of a car bomb while testifying during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Oct. 2, 2007 in Washington, D.C. Mohammed was going to visit his sister and her children. "They prefer animals over humans, and then they talk about human rights, justice and humanity," said an Iraqi man whose brother was among those killed in 2007. [28] TST 22 arrived at Nisour Square after Raven 23 had left; when TST 22 tried to withdraw, its route was blocked by Iraqi Army and Police vehicles. In November last year, he pardoned a former US army commando who was set to stand trial over the killing of a suspected Afghan bomb-maker, and a former army lieutenant convicted of murder for ordering his men to fire at three Afghans. It was an honor to represent these victims and their families. I sued Blackwater, its founder Erik Prince, and the four men who were convicted of murder, manslaughter, or weapons charges in a civil lawsuit filed in North Carolina, the home of Blackwaters headquarters and training facility in Moyock. "I am overwhelmed with emotion at this fantastic news.". The State Department announced an American-Iraqi joint commission to investigate both the shooting and the broader issue of employing private security contractors. [25], A State Department spot report published the same day as the incident stated that eight to ten attackers opened fire on Raven 23 "from multiple nearby locations, with some aggressors dressed in civilian apparel and others in Iraqi police uniforms" after the convoy had entered Nisour Square,[26] starting at 12:08p.m.[27] The report added that another Blackwater Tactical Support Team (TST 22), who had escorted the officials and TST 4 back to the Green Zone, was redirected to support Raven 23. courts. The U.S. remains one of the notable holdouts of the 2001 UN treaty known in full as the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and it is unlikely we will ever join. [44] Blackwater's operations on behalf of the U.S. Department of State and the CIA may be unaffected by license revocation. Although Mohammed was going to return quickly with his sister and Alis cousins for a visit, Mohammed told his son that he could go with him. [4] Germany to ship anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-to-ship-anti-aircraft-missiles-to-ukraine-reports/a-60995325. The hospital was too busy. The four were convicted at then VP Joe Biden's insistence, and were serving jail terms. The Blackwater mercenaries were among the most flagrant killers in Iraq but hardly unique. Despite losing the empire in the nineties, as far as military power is concerned, Russia with its enormous arsenal of conventional as well as nuclear weapons still more or less equals the military power of the United States, as is obvious from the unfolding Ukraine war where all the NATO could do is watch it from distance, and not even attempting to enforce a no-fly zone lest the conflict spirals into a mutually destructive nuclear war. [10][11] The next day, Blackwater Worldwide's license to operate in Iraq was temporarily revoked. I know that each of them placed great faith in the U.S. legal system. Bulk comes from private military companies of the Blackwater/Academi kind. Monday's sentencing was. Majid Al Kareem was 51 years old when he was shot. The other three guards faced decades in prison; the weapons charges carried a minimum 30-year sentence under a law enacted during the 1990s cocaine epidemic. Hussein Saheb Nasser, 35, told NBC News by telephone from his home in Baghdad on Wednesday. "How are. Dozens of witnesses were brought to the United States to testify about what happened on September 16, 2007. To understand the carnage that happened on the streets that day, you need to hear it in Mohammeds words as he explained it to me. U.S. troops were coming under fire in Baghdad and major Iraqi cities from the resistance forces. In fact, private military contractors in close coordination and consultation with covert operators from CIA and Western intelligence agencies are not only training Ukraines conscript forces in the use of caches of Stingers and Javelins provided by Germany and the rest of the European nations as military assistance to Ukraine but are also directing the whole defense strategy of Ukraine by taking an active part in combat operations in some of the most hard-fought battles against Russias security forces north of Kyiv and at Kharkiv and Donbas. [97], On December 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump granted full presidential pardons to Slatten, Slough, Liberty, and Heard. . [15] The incident sparked at least five investigations, including one from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mohammed forced a doctor to look at Ali. The headrest next to him where his sister sat had a bullet hole through it. The black-ops of NATOs mercenaries in Ukraine were being directed from Ukraines Security Service (SSU) headquarter and the main center for information and psychological operations in Kyiv. On Tuesday, President Trump pardoned 15 people, including Dustin Heard (from left), Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough, the four former government contractors convicted for a 2007 massacre in Baghdad that left more than a dozen Iraqi civilians dead. Prosecutors said the Blackwater convoy launched an unprovoked attack using sniper fire, machine guns and grenade launchers. Russian-American political scientist Malek Dudakov called the shooting a landmark event and a major international scandal. Witnesses described how the American men ambushed the civilians unprovoked, firing on Baghdad's Nisour Square with heavy gunfire and grenade launchers. Mohammed knew his sons injuries were fatal, but he had to try. [49], An Interior Ministry spokesman said Iraqi authorities had completed their investigation into the shooting and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths. [83], In September 2013, the charges against Ball were dropped. Blackwater Mercenaries: NATOs Secret Weapon in Ukraine War, VT RADIO: Alternative Foreign Policy Talk, Khazarian Mafia at War: The Jewish Oligarch Who Planned the Terror, Russias Future Predicted by Well-Known Christian Saints, Most Front-Line Ukrainian Soldiers Killed Within 4 Hours, How Russia managed to survive Western sanctions, How War Began The Genesis of NATOs Coup in Ukraine , From Global Warming Denial to Holocaust Denial, On this day in 1940, Woody Guthrie writes This Land Is, Former U.S. President Carter to Hospice, Will Pariah Trump Attend State, Dr. Fauci Admits COVID Shots Didnt Have A Chance Of Controlling. President Donald Trump's decision to pardon four Blackwater private security contractors convicted of a massacre in Baghdad has been met with fury by the victims' families in Iraq. [12] The U.S. State Department has said that "innocent life was lost",[13] and according to The Washington Post, a military report appeared to corroborate "the Iraqi government's contention that Blackwater was at fault". That wasnt unusual. But he knew he was surviving as he kept yelling for the children in the back of his SUV to stay down. Thats all it takes to support the journalism you rely on. Suddenly, bullets began to riddle Mohammeds car. For those of you who are not aware, Erik Prince (Blackwater/Academi) personally sold to the CIA the concept of a mercenary army to conduct hybrid war ops and/or crypto-guerrilla war against Russia. (L-r) Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Paul Slough, Nicholas Slatten. On Tuesday, President Trump pardoned 15 people, including Dustin Heard (from left), Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough, the four former government contractors convicted for a 2007 massacre in Baghdad that left more than a dozen Iraqi civilians dead. [19] The three justifiable killings were those of the two passengers in the white Kia sedan and an unidentified Iraqi nearby. Before VT Nuclear Education: The Beirut Nuclear Coverup, The Hidden History of the Incredibly Evil Khazarian Mafia. Mohammed quickly got out of the car and saw blood inside the rear window. Who would hold party elites accountable to the values they proclaim to have? [36], On September 19, as a result of the incident, the United States temporarily suspended all land travel by U.S. diplomats and other civilian officials in Iraq outside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. The shooting ended as suddenly as it started. Before embarking on the clandestine Kyiv visit, Erik Prince consulted with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Director National Intelligence Avril Haines, with whom his relationship goes a long way the back to the early nineties after she purchased a bar in Fells Point, Baltimore, which had been seized in a drug raid. An Iraqi policeman went over to the car, possibly to help the passenger, but the vehicle kept moving and it looked to the guards as if the policeman was pushing the car towards the Blackwater TST. Dark Truth Exposed: East Palestine Rail Disaster, BOAC 707 Sabotage, Why people should start business in Lithuania, Best Strategy To Play Online Baccarat Games, Effects of Incontinence in Various Areas of Life, Conversations from the porch Episode 19 with Jack Heart &, Covert Operations In Vietnam: The Incomplete History of US-Norway Collaboration. [8][98] A White House statement said the men had a "long history of service to the nation" as veterans of the US Armed Forces, and that there was strong support for the pardons from the public and elected officials. The incident was allegedly resolved only after another Blackwater contractor pointed his weapon at the man still firing and ordered him to stop. [79] Three weeks later, Vice President Joe Biden, who was overseeing U.S. policy in Iraq, promised Iraqi leaders the U.S. would appeal the dismissal of these charges. "On what basis did Trump depend on to release them? The key people in this have not spoken with investigators. The pardons have reduced American talk of human rights to mere "slogans," he said, adding, "They prefer animals over humans, and then they talk about human rights, justice and humanity. Consider what the world of media would look like without The Intercept. His domains of expertise include neocolonialism, military-industrial complex, and petro-imperialism. Iraqi authorities say 17 people were killed; the Department of Justice has said the total was 14. What Is Blackwater? The US government said in a memorandum filed after the sentencing: None of the victims was an insurgent, or posed any threat to the Raven 23 convoy. The memorandum also contained quotations from relatives of the dead, including Mohammad Kinani, whose nine-year-old son Ali was killed. Again, I knew my clients would be pleased to know that justice had been served and their rights had been protected. Machine gunfire would cause his lifeless body to shake in his pool of blood. The Nisour Square Massacre, in which Blackwater mercenaries fired hundreds of rounds in a crowded Baghdad traffic square, killing fourteen Iraqis, including ten women and two children, and . [100] UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said that forgiveness "contributes to impunity and has the effect of encouraging others to commit such crimes in the future". Blackwater was founded by ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince in 1997 as a shooting range and military training ground in Moyock, North Carolina. [26][27] A U.S. Army convoy arrived at 12:39p.m., backed by air cover, to escort TST 22 back to the Green Zone. - Asser Institute (Decision Date: 31 December 2009)", "Ex-Blackwater Guards Face Renewed Charges", "Blackwater guards face new U.S. charges for Iraq shooting deaths", "Legal questions loom in Blackwater convictions", "Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings", "Emails Reveal Discord Over Blackwater Charges", "Ex-Blackwater Guards Sentenced to Long Prison Terms in 2007 Killings of Iraqi Civilians", "U.S. Appeals Court Tosses Ex-Blackwater Guard's Conviction in 2007 Baghdad Massacre", "Murder conviction in Blackwater case thrown out, other sentences overturned", "In Blackwater Case, Court Rejects a Murder Conviction and Voids 3 Sentences", Recent Case: D.C. [25][31], The account by the Blackwater firm differed from the Iraqi government's account; Blackwater's account stated the driver of the Kia sedan had kept driving toward the convoy, ignoring verbal orders, hand signals, and water bottles thrown at the car, and continued to approach even when fired upon. [40], On October 11, 2007, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit against Blackwater USA under the Alien Tort Claims Act on behalf of an injured Iraqi and the families of three of the seventeen Iraqis who were killed by Blackwater employees during the September 16, 2007, shooting incident. "This was Baghdad's Bloody Sunday," Dickinson told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly on Wednesday. [73], The trial was set for early 2010,[74] but the charges were dismissed by United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Ricardo Urbina on December 31, 2009, who ruled that the Justice Department had mishandled evidence and violated the guards' constitutional rights. [24] The driver of the Kia was shot once in the head by a Blackwater contractor and was killed. [18][30] Iraqi investigators also alleged that Blackwater helicopters fired into the cars from the air, as at least one car had bullet holes in its roof; Blackwater has denied any of its aerial units discharged weapons. Again be warned it is ugly. Liberty is one of four former Blackwater mercenaries pardoned by President Donald Trump in one of . Before. The Nisour Square massacre was one of the most publicized US crimes of the 8-year Iraq war. The black-op of setting a building in the sprawling nuclear complex alight and then posting doctored video clips of Russian tanks shelling straight at the nuclear plant on social media, promptly verified as authentic by corporate media, was clearly the dirty work of covert saboteurs whove been advising and assisting Ukraines inept security forces and also taking an active part in combat operations in some of the hardest fought battles against Russias security forces north of Kyiv and at Kharkiv and Donbas. Says Guards Killed 14 Iraqis Without Cause", "Blackwater guards lose bid to appeal charges in Iraqi civilian shooting case", "U.S. troops in Iraq will need immunity: U.S. chief", "Jurors' Note Hints at Conviction in Blackwater Case", "Former Blackwater Guards Convicted in Iraq Shooting", "Shock And Dismay After Trump Pardons Blackwater Guards Who Killed 14 Iraqi Civilians", "Trump Pardons Two Russia Inquiry Figures and Blackwater Guards", "Trump pardon of Blackwater Iraq contractors violates international law - UN", "Iraqi Inquiry Says Shooting Was Unprovoked", "Blackwater guards fired unprovoked: Iraq police evidence", "Pentagon Dispatches Investigators to Iraq to Probe Private Security Contractors", "Joint Iraqi-U.S. review begins in wake of Blackwater firefight", "Blackwater faulted by U.S. military: report", "Iraq determined to rein in private security guards", "The Iraqi Account of the Killings [infographic]", "Former Blackwater Employee Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Murder in 2007 Shooting at Nisur Square in Iraq", "US Lawyers for Blackwater Guards: 2007 Baghdad Shooting was Self-Defense", "From Errand to Fatal Shot to Hail of Fire to 17 Deaths", "Four Former Blackwater Employees Found Guilty of Charges in Fatal Nisur Square Shooting in Iraq", "Iraqi ministers back Blackwater shutdown - CNN.com", "Iraqi Report Says Blackwater Guards Fired First", "State Dept.
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