Blackwater Guards Indicted for Manslaughter in Baghdad Shooting

Blackwater became the first armed U.S. private contractor to face legal justice today.  The Justice Department has made public a manslaughter indictment for the guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Nisoor Square in 2007.  Five of those six guards surrendered in Utah today, and the sixth struck a plea deal in Washington, DC.  The move to surrender in Utah was a sneaky legal strategy devised to try the case in a far more conservative venue than DC, where Blackwater, the Iraq war, and President Bush are none too popular right now.


Wherever this case is eventually tried, however, it reflects the first backbone we've seen from the Justice Department regarding mercenaries like Blackwater.  Scott Horton, a Hofstra law professor who just wrote a study on legal accountability for private security contractors, recently told The Nation's Jeremy Scahill:

"The Justice Department has had this matter for fourteen months and has done almost everything imaginable to walk away from it--including delivering a briefing to Congress in which they suggested that they lacked legal authority to press charges.  They did this notwithstanding evidence collected by the first teams on the scene that suggested an ample basis to prosecute."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.