I have pretty well been able to keep out of the 'human interest' side, but this week I read the account of the Nisour Square murders. Horrifying. I cannot imagine being those parents. It's bad enough when you just look at the victims' stories, but when you look at the fact that we're not supposed to be in Iraq, Blackwater wasn't supposed to be at that place that day, it was most likely deliberate and not in response to anything. It didn't have to happen.
Here's an exerpt from Scahill's new article about the event:
Blackwater's Youngest Victim
January 28, 2010http://www.thenation.com/doc/
"But this past New Year's Eve, federal Judge Ricardo Urbina threw out all the criminal charges against the five Blackwater guards. At least seventeen Iraqis died that day, and prosecutors believed they could prove fourteen of the killings were unjustified. The manslaughter charges were dismissed not because of a lack of evidence but because of what Urbina called serious misconduct on the part of the prosecutors.
Then, a few days after the dismissal of the criminal case, Blackwater reached a civil settlement with many of the Nisour Square victims, reportedly paying about $100,000 per death.
Blackwater released a statement declaring it was "pleased" with the outcome, which enabled the company to move forward "free of the costs and distraction of ongoing litigation." But Mohammed Kinani would not move on. He refused to take the deal Blackwater offered. As a result, he may well be the one man standing between Blackwater and total impunity for the killings in Nisour Square."
Here is Democracy Now's report, featuring Scahill:
On a similar note....
I still don't know what the most recent news of the Haditha "incident" is. It looks like most of the charges were dropped.