Saturday, January 3, 2009

Condoleezza's Scapegoats

"Seventeen people died in the Sept. 16, 2007, shooting, which strained relations between the U.S. and Iraq. ... Patrick Rowan, assistant attorney general for national security, acknowledged the dangers of Baghdad that day, but he said the guards disregarded their obligation to refrain from firing their weapons except in self-defense. The victims, he said, 'were ordinary people going about their lives, performing mundane daily tasks, like making their way through a crowded traffic circle.' In pressing charges, prosecutors are attempting to expand the use of a federal law intended to govern the conduct of government contractors in war zones; this is the first use of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act in a case involving contractors working for an agency other that the Defense Department. ... Justice Department and [FBI] officials acknowledged complications in their investigation. The guards were granted immunity for statements made to investigators during an initial probe by State Department agents. When the FBI agents arrived to take over the investigation weeks later, they had to reconstruct a crime scene. Justice officials are going up against former military veterans who may benefit from reluctance by jurors to second-guess actions taken in a war zone. Federal prosecutors faced such jury skepticism in August, when a California jury acquitted former Marine Jose Luis Nazario, Jr. on charges of killing a prisoner during a 2004 military operation in Fallujah, Iraq. Jurors hugged Mr. Nazario after the verdict and said they didn't feel they 'had any business' judging combat conduct", my emphasis, Evan Perez and August Cole at the WSJ, 9 December 2008.

"Radio logs from a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad cast doubt on U.S. government claims that Blackwater Worldwide security guards were unprovoked when they killed 14 Iraqi civilians", Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes at the Houston Chronicle, 19 December 2008.

How does Rowan know? Was he there? Is he an eyewitness? If so, he should recuse himself from the case. If not, he should shut up. Will the hopelessly compromised DOJ and FBI admit takiwa exists and list it as "Brady" material? Today's FBI wants jurors to fantasize it is "CSI New York's" Gary Sinise reconstructing a crime scene. Did the FBI control the area from 16 September 2007 until it arrived? Is the FBI kidding? Is the area's "chain of custody" broken in a hundred pieces and will the FBI's work be thrown out? If the FBI's work did not support Bush Administration policy, would it say so? This case is politically motivated; Condoleezza Rice needs American blood sacrifices to ingratiate herself with Iraq! I think of Idaho v. Horiuchi, 215 F3d 986 (9th Cir., 2000) (Kozinski, J. dissenting), reversed en banc at 253 F3d 359 (9th Cir., 2001). Lon Horiuchi was the FBI "sharpshooter" who killed Randy Weaver's wife in 1992 at Ruby Ridge. In dissent, Alex Kozinski said, "Because the 007 standard for the use of deadly force now applies to all law enforcement agencies in our circuit--federal, state and local--it should make us all feel less secure". The DOJ does not apply its "007 standard" to contractors in a war zone. A World War II case like this would have been laughable. I can see generals like Mark Clark and George Patton saying to Italian or German civilians, "you want what"? Before throwing them out of each's tent. Forcibly. I can see Patton chewing his XO's ass off for letting the civilians into his presence.

Did the FBI know of these logs? Did it care? See also my 21 December 2008 post:

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