NYT Reports on Justice Dept. Charge That Blackwater Saw Killing Iraqis as "Payback for 9/11"
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Last week, I wrote about the U.S. Justice Department’s allegations about Blackwater, which were filed in the criminal case against the men alleged to be responsible for the Nisour Square massacre. Blackwater forces "fired at innocent Iraqis not because they actually believed that they were in imminent danger of serious bodily injury and actually believed that they had no alternative to the use of deadly force, but rather that they fired at innocent Iraqi civilians because of their hostility toward Iraqis and their grave indifference to the harm that their actions would cause," the acting U.S. Attorney in DC, Channing Phillips, alleged in court papers submitted by Kenneth C. Kohl, the lead prosecutor on this case. "[T]he defendants specifically intended to kill or seriously injure the Iraqi civilians that they fired upon at Nisur Square." Prosecutors also allege that "defendant Nicholas Slatten made statements that he wanted to kill as many Iraqis as he could as 'payback for 9/11,' and he repeatedly boasted about the number of Iraqis he had shot."
The New York Times reporter Jim Risen reports on these charges today. His report is here. The dramatic understatement of the piece is this line: "The new allegations also seem to raise questions about whether there was adequate oversight of the security details by either Blackwater or the State Department." No comment.
Jeremy Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army .