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Court Throws Out Blackwater Guards' Sentences for 2007 Baghdad Massacre


#1

Court Throws Out Blackwater Guards' Sentences for 2007 Baghdad Massacre

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out lengthy prison sentences of three former operatives for private mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide—and ordered a retrial for a fourth operative who had received a life sentence—for their roles in the notorious 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, which left 14 unarmed Iraqis dead and another 17 wounded.


#2

To quote Captain Willard from Coppola’s Apocalypse Now:

“Charging people with murder in this place is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.”


#3

Our Government would have to go to the Expense of flying all the Iraqi Witnesses back, if Betsy DeVos’s Brother’s Employees were tried again, but, as we all know, THE MONEY JUST ISN’T THERE.


#4

Which federal appeals court made this decision and who were the three judges on the panel? Common Dreams writers should give more specific attribution. I don’t find the acquittals surprising from terrorizing, oil stealing Americans but I was very surprised Erik Prince is Betsy Devos’ brother. Small world. One sets fire to people. One sets fire to public education. God Bless America.


#5

The convicted criminals need a seat at The Hague. And Erik Prince a standing position at the gallows. Low life mercenary scum.


#6

But . . .  but . . . Geronimo, it doesn’t stop there.  IIRC, it’s Eric Prince’s Xe (formerly Blackwater) mercenaries who comprise Tweetle-Dumb’s Palace Guard (just in case the Justice Department should try to arrest him for violating the Emoluments Clause, or Congress should send in the Marines to oust him from the White House after he’s been impeached).  And isn’t it Eric Prince who’s been advising Dinkie Donnie that we set up some sort of “Administrator” in Afghanistan to oversee our extraction of the minerals that “they owe us in compen­sation for all the money we’ve spent on the war there”??  And whom do you think Mike Pence will hire to en­force “Christian Values” once Betsy DeVos and her Funny-Dementalist allies have converted “our” so-called democratic government to a Theocracy?


#7

Everyone knows they were only doing god’s work on behalf of the exceptional USA.


#8

And being paid very handsomely to do so…most of which comes from the American non-corporate taxpayers.


#9

Stealing natural resources. I read the Gemstone Files. It is a collection of conspiracy theories and it is flabbergasting. I am not suggesting you believe it but some of the associations are phenomenal. It takes less than an hour to read the synopsis you can read online. It has been around for years. So. I think it is a process to educate ourselves to how overtly evil our shadow government is and what it is capable of doing, in unaccountable secrecy. We’re lethal hunter-gatherers with B-3 stealth bombers. We can’t even imagine what our Pentagon is capable of doing to humans. Suffice to say, thousands of acres of Afghan poppies worth hundreds of billions of heroin dollars easily laundered through the World Bank of International Settlements (one at the top) is worth more than thousands of acres of ash. So, did you see the CIA burn the Afghanistan poppies and wouldn’t this be reported. We are just imagining the scope of the betrayal. I can tell you this. World Trade Center number seven did not collapse from the heat of a fallen adjacent tower hours after the former collapse. They were blown up floor by floor, professionally demolished according to New York firefighters. Dubya took the month of August off his first year, went back to the ranch to cut trees just weeks before 9-11. Dubya was reading to school children in Florida when the first aircraft hit New York. What would be considered more innocent than reading to school children? How evil is our government is the essential question and how close are we to actually becoming Venezuela or Honduras.


#10

There sure were a lot of US officials, military personnel, and contractors who committed crimes against humanity.

It would probably be best to prosecute them all, in an international court.


#11

I could only hope we became Venezuela:

Jimmy Carter says: "Election Process in Venezuela is the Best in the World"


#12

These are war criminals being released, as our two-tiered justice system seems to work only in favor of those with money and/or power … http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/04/541616598/u-s-appeals-court-tosses-conviction-of-ex-blackwater-guard-in-2007-baghdad-massa

Also worth noting: Eric Prince, head of Blackwater, is Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’ brother … let the conspiracy theories begin … http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/04/08/blackwater-founder-erik-prince/100161630


#13

How evil absolute power can make humans is not much of a question anymore. And whatever is problematic in Venezuela and Honduras has a lot to do with the Empire’s centuries-old machinations to colonize/control Latin America for fun and profit.

The real questions are: 1) how do we become vulnerable to such breakdown in our grasp of reality (all life is interpenetrated, so anything “I” do to “others” also impacts me)? 2) how do we improve our individual and collective immunity to the plague of delusion? and 3) what do we do with those who have been so sickened in the plagues that they can only feel alive through enacting violence?

There are many good answers already available to questions 1) and 2). But they’re largely rooted in a a paradigm that most moderns reject without even being aware that they’ve rejected it…

The third question is one most modern people don’t want to contemplate, because it is so daunting. How many millions on this planet are thoroughly addicted to the thrills of violence, effectively dead to all other feeling, effectively dead to caring? Isn’t it someone else’s job to wrestle with such vast questions?

Yet if we don’t face into this question, we leave these desperately ill millions to infect others, generation after generation.

Almost everyone can contribute to research in this area, for almost all moderns are carriers of this virulent dis-ease.

How do we regenerate and grow our capacity for feeling, for caring, almost universally denigrated and neglected within the recent epochs of modernity and patriarchy? How do we go on doing so when doing so hurts? How do we encourage and reward ourselves and each other for doing this critical evolutionary research?

Hint: we need to be willing to feel the Truth that NOT engaging with this painful challenge hurts more. That shifting the burden of feeling the pain personally results in greater pain for everyone over a longer period of time…

And: we need to remember how to feel the immediate pleasures that facing into and mastering our own violence brings. Only when we directly experience a more pleasurable alternative do we naturally grow beyond habits that have long served our survival.

Every dire challenge humanity now faces hinges on these questions regarding our innate and universal propensity for carelessness, violence, and cruelty–and our innate and universal capacity for caring, transformation, and co-creativity.


#14

This is another sad demonstration of how rotten the US judiciary is. It protects murderers, it delivers gross injustice. No surprise to me.

Fascism 'r us.


#15

Excellent post. Thoughtful, articulate, insightful, even transcendent. Keep up the good work.

One common thread throughout history is inarguable: certain humans, usually with considerable power, caused (and continue to cause) devastating damage to the planet and their fellow humans. It highlights the strong probability that humans aren’t destined to survive – despite the good, honorable work of billions of “caring, transformative, and co-creative” (but not-so-powerful) individuals over time.

And of course absolute power corrupts absolutely. Enter the current “power status quo” in the world: Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin. Sadly it isn’t too difficult to figure out how we got here.


#16

Interesting and thought provoking questions. Many of us here have grappled with these for years. we need some new ideas. Here’s one: is anyone in any position of responsibility considering whether current levels of testosterone might be excessively high possibly because those with higher levels outcompeted for evolutionary success? That might explain how we have ended up with a species that is now on the brink of complete annihilation. Is anyone, especially men, ready to investigate whether mandatory lowering of testosterone to less aggressive levels in males between the ages of 12 - 80 would make our world more likely to survive? I doubt it.

Even though the outcome of our present trajectory is fraught, I don’t hear people considering this or other ideas that are outside a rather circumscribed arena of tried and failed methods. Maybe I am outside the loop on this but I see technology used to reinforce the worst aspects of human behavior, especially brutalization of women and the ‘other’ in video games that are almost all glorifying violence. Certainly, I have read few discussions of ideas that seem might actually make a difference or that at least move the discussion forward in a more encompassing way.

To channel a former commenter here on CD (one I did not agree with when it came to magical thinking): it’s the patriarchy. Nothing fights harder than privilege and male domination is arguably of longer standing than white privilege as I believe it existed in societies that predated their awareness of the existence of different races. So patriarchy is fighting very hard right now.

This idea may not be a path to solving our problems but where are those cutting edge ideas, those places where people are looking outside the box? All I hear is same old, same old. It doesn’t seem to exist anywhere I am or is it that I just can’t find them?


#17

Sorry, but they should get the death penalty. How about hanging, like Saddam Hussein experienced?


#18

MLK was prophetic…" the greatest purveyor of violence in the world "…the good ole USA !


#19

The ideas exist. The people who are their messengers have been and continue to be highly marginalized–often violently silenced or simply deemed irrelevant. Many of them are rooted in the remnant and resurgent indigenous world. Others sprout from young folks raised in modernity with indigenous souls and indigenous wisdom…

The ideas are mostly simple, cheap, natural, and infinitely renewable.

They’re mostly NOT profitable, and in fact, implementation of them is generally at odds with modernity’s insistence that only paid labor has value (and caring is generally not remunerated at all and remunerated very poorly almost always).

When we relatively privileged moderns become willing to admit that we don’t have all the answers and indeed have often been asking the wrong questions, then we find fresh remedies in abundance.


#20

You pose an interesting theory…testosterone!? In my opinion, Mother Nature is already trying to correct the “testosterone” error. Over possibly 2 generations, men have been becoming a bit more androgynous (and fighting it tooth and nail). The “Patriarchy” has noticed this and stepped up on those violent video games, war stories, sexploitation stories,etc., as yet another form of “Backlash” against the feminist principals of peace on earth. It would not be surprising in the least if the powers that be are creating drugs, foods, etc., to enhance testosterone levels…recognizing that they are waning. The Patriarchy will always try to find ways to deter the progression toward egalitarianism. They’ve done it throughout history.