Friday, Mar. 19, 2010

November 2007
Blackwater's Black Mark

"I wouldn't call it a massacre, but to say it was unwarranted is an understatement."

—An unidentified U.S. official on the early FBI findings regarding the shooting deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians by Blackwater security guards

On November 14th, FBI investigators announce that the private security guards employed by contractor Blackwater who killed 17 Iraqi civilians while escorting a diplomatic convoy on Sept. 16th acted recklessly, concluding that 14 of the 17 deaths were unjustified. Still, the issue of who will be prosecuted and how remains unclear. Questions also loom about whether Blackwater's contract with the U.S. State Department will be renewed in May. The FBI report comes a month after the House passes a bill to close the legal loophole that protects overseas contractors from being prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. The Senate has yet to vote on the act.