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Good 2007 Fox article about the U.S. State Dept. granting immunity to Blackwater killers.
State Department officials have reportedly granted several Blackwater employees immunity from prosecution in its case of last month's deadly shootings of 17 Iraqi civilians,
...one source indicated the Department of Justice and the FBI feel hamstrung by the immunity grant, which blocked the FBI investigative team in Baghdad from collecting essential information from those allegedly involved in the shootings.
Senior federal law enforcement officials confirm that an FBI investigative team returned home Monday to Washington, D.C., from Baghdad. The team had been trying to collect evidence in the Sept. 16 embassy convoy shooting, and was not able to collect statements from Blackwater employees who were given immunity.
"Once you give immunity, you can't take it away," a senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press.
The Reverend gave his cynical take on October 30, 2007
...for a few years of the Iraq quagmire I thought we weren't going to be successful in spreading the American brand of democracy, that the Relevent One had promised, to all those Iraqis living on top of all our oil.
But now, with another stroke of genuis from a White House full of Einstein types, in granting immunity to Blackwater mass murderers over in Iraq, I can almost guarantee that American democracy will now catch on like wildfire.
Then, last week, the AP reported....
The case against the five men fell apart because, after the shooting, the State Department ordered the guards to explain what happened. In exchange for those statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to cooperate.
Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear. Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said. Key witnesses also reviewed the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements, the judge said.
The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others "purposefully flouted the advice" of senior Justice Department officials telling them not to use the statements.
I wonder why Ken Kohl "purposefully flouted the advice" of senior DOJ officials.....don't you?
What seems clear, at least to me, is that Condi Rice's State Department decision to demand statements from Blackwater guards while simultaneously granting them immunity, was strategic. As it proved out, Rice's decision actually led to the case being dismissed on a "technicality." Not that the Blackwater killers aren't guilty, they most certainly are.
My question about this ruling, even as foul as it is....is this: President Obama has told the American people that pictures of American abuse of detainees in Iraq cannot be made public, can't be seen, for fear that they would further inflame Iraqi and Muslim hatred against America in general, and our troops, in particular. Releasing those pictures to the public would, as George W. Bush said about keeping everything secret, "endanger our troops."
Shouldn't the federal judicial ruling which dismissed charges against Blackwater mass killers of innocent Iraqis have been kept secret? Shouldn't some kind of gag order against releasing this "state secret" information been given? Because, obviously, this piece of information, just like the information that could be revealed in those taboo pictures, will inflame Iraqi and Muslim sentiments against the U.S.......right? And doesn't that "endanger our troops?"
Iraqis are angry.....
Iraq expressed anger on Friday with a U.S. federal court ruling that threw out all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of gunning down Iraqi civilians in 2007.
The ruling was “unjust and unacceptable” Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement,....
There were a quarter of a million Google sources pertaining to the Blackwater case dismissal......I mean, when is enough, enough? How long will the U.S. "free press" continue to recklessly endanger our U.S. military personnel by reporting on stuff?