Request by Civilian-Killing Blackwater Contractor to Return to Work in Afghanistan Denied By Federal Judge
Yesterday, an incredulous judge denied the request of Blackwater contractor Christopher Drotleff to return to work in Afghanistan pending the appeal of his manslaughter conviction in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian.
Drotleff, who was out on bond and facing a three-year prison sentence, asked permission to return to a location in Afghanistan just 300 miles away from where the crime occurred. There, Drotleff and another contractor, Justin Cannon, shot three Afghan civilians, killing two and wounding one, while simply guarding a traffic accident. Drotleff was facing thirteen indictments for the crime, but the jury determined only one of the deaths to have involved unlawful activity, convicting him of manslaughter instead of second-degree murder and a wealth of other charges.
Drotleff told the court he needed the high-paying job to support his family, but his desire to return to a war-torn country where in which he wrongfully killed a civilian is eerie. According to the Virginia-Pilot, U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar called the request "ill-timed" and "[t]he epitome of ignorance," and refused Drotleff permission to leave the country, let alone for Afghanistan.
His attorney said, "He's obviously disappointed, but he understands that he has to abide by the rules of probation," adding that Drotieff "looks forward to the appeal" of his criminal case.