The Iraqi government is under increasing pressure to aggressively pursue the prosecution of American military personnel accused of killing Iraqis.

The recent decision by Ricardo Urbina, a district judge, to dismiss charges against five security contractors accused of gunning down 17 Iraqis, including women and children, in September 2007 has re-ignited deep discord among Iraqis, and fuelled suspicions that US personnel operate in a lawless void while in Iraq.

An Iraqi investigation into the incident two years ago contradicted Blackwater claims that its contractors had fired in self-defence after coming under attack in central Baghdad. In January 2008, the Iraqi government barred Blackwater from providing security detail to US diplomatic staff in the country, citing the firm’s use of excessive force.

in depth
  Video: Iraq expresses dismay at US verdict
  Iraq to ‘appeal Blackwater verdict’
  US court dismisses Blackwater case
  Riz Khan: US military contractors

A US congressional investigation into Blackwater operations appeared to corroborate Baghdad’s accusations that the firm routinely used “excessive” and “pre-emptive” force. In November 2007, FBI investigators found that 14 of the 17 killings had been “unjustified” and violated “deadly force rules” for security contractors operating in Iraq.

However, Urbina threw out the case last week saying that US justice department prosecutors had improperly used sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity.

While the Iraqi government said it regretted the judge’s decision and vowed to appeal the ruling, ordinary Iraqis are left wondering at the apparent double standards of a legal system which could pioneer rendition, imprisonment and torture based on far less evidence, but fumble a case like this.

However, Mohammed Kinani, whose nine-year-old son Ali was killed in the shooting, told Al Jazeera that Urbina’s dismissal does not signal the end of the criminal or civil cases brought against Blackwater.

“The FBI has been investigating this case for 27 months and there are witnesses to the event as well as forensic evidence which indicate that this is not the end of the road,” he said.

‘Utter devastation’

Kinani, his sister, her three children and Kinani’s son were in a car in Nisour Square on September 14 when Blackwater guards instructed them to stop.

“A few minutes after several cars in the square stopped, they opened fire on us,” Kinani said.

“My son was hit, my sister was lightly injured, my car was hit by dozens of rounds. A man in front of me was killed and lying in a pool of his own blood and every few moments they would fire on him again … they continued pumping bullets into us.

“They utterly devastated everything in front of them. As if they were bent on revenge.”

Haitham Ahmed, whose wife and son were killed in the shooting, told the Associated Press that the way the prosecution handled the case raises doubts over whether the US justice system could deliver a fair verdict.

“If a judge … dismissed the trial, that is ridiculous and the whole thing has been but a farce,” he said.

Dahlia Wasfi, an Iraqi-American who is currently writing a book about the “illegal occupation of Iraq”, says that Iraqis have largely given up on waiting for justice “or democracy, for that matter”, from Washington.

“There are over 1.3 million dead Iraqis who deserve justice. There are over 5 million displaced Iraqis who have the right of return to a safe country who deserve justice. What the United States has to understand is that without justice, there will be no peace,” she says.

Immunity to impunity?

Blackwater security guard Nick Slatten, centre, leaves court with his attorneys [REUTERS] 

But Blackwater Worldwide, since renamed Xe Services, is not the only security contractor operating in Iraq.

Since the US-led invasion and occupation in 2003, more than 100 private security firms have set up shop in Iraq, many of their names and mandates unknown to the media.

All have been granted immunity from Iraqi prosecution under an agreement signed by Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority head, and the Iraqi Governing Council, an interim political body established after the fall of Baghdad, in 2004.

Despite the handing of sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30, 2004, this immunity exemption remains in effect today.

In fact, private security firms in Iraq, much like Blackwater, took over major tasks and operations, which had previously been primarily assigned to US forces. The hope at the time had been that US forces would remain in their barracks, avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and ambushes, reduce the body count, and keep the US public firmly behind the war. In effect, private security firms become the de facto military presence in Iraq – outnumbering the official count of non-US military “coalition” forces.

As of November 2007, Blackwater had earned more than $485mn in government contracts.

“Iraqis are certainly aware – far more aware than Americans – that there are numerous groups, armies, and militias working under the occupation to devastate Iraqi society and terrorise them. Blackwater and its henchmen are known in Iraq; in March 2008, Iraqi doctors in Falluja named an outbreak of severe malarial infection ‘Blackwater Fever’ because it’s so lethal,” says Wasfi.

Cursory investigations

The US government has no means of monitoring who the private security contractors are, what they do or how much they are paid and, in June 2009, a US congressional Wartime Contracting Commission found that the US military had failed to provide adequate oversight of private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraqis have grown tired of the explanations repeatedly offered as justification for the killing of civilians and say US investigators have only offered cursory investigations, usually siding with the accounts of private security firms.

Amnesty International USA has also been critical of the way the US government has handled accusations of impropriety by private security contractors, saying that “the US justice department has largely failed in its obligation to prosecute US contractors for serious human rights violations, and worse, it appears to have taken steps to undermine access to justice”.

In his ruling, Judge Urbina said that lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others “purposefully flouted the advice” of senior justice department officials who told them not to use the statements that he eventually ruled as impermissible.

Whether the prosecution’s faux pas was the result of incompetence or willful sabotage is immaterial at this point; the Blackwater case was seen as a test of future Iraq-US relations, particularly given that US combat troops are to fully withdraw from Iraq by 2011.

The case also marked the culmination of years of frustrated efforts by Iraqi civilians and politicians to hold accountable not only private contractors, but the US military as well, for excessive use of force.

Kinani says his family is still distraught about the killing of his son but that he derives strength from knowing that the Nisour Square incident not only brought Iraq’s Shias and Sunnis together but also revealed what ordinary civilians were facing under occupation.

“The killings in Nisour Square woke the Iraqi and US authorities to the horrors of what such security firms were doing in Iraq,” he said, “and motivated them to take legal action.”

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Dirty, cowardly,  murderous fucking parasites.  When their time comes, as it surely will, may it be slow and horrific, as they have made it for so many.

16 Year old Girl Murdered by Ayatollah Khamenei and his murderous perverse regime.


IRAN Cyberwar guide for beginners, spread it about;

  1. Do NOT publicise proxy IP’s over twitter, and especially not using the #iranelection hashtag.  Security forces are monitoring this hashtag, and the moment they identify a proxy IP they will block it in Iran.  If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distributed them discretely to bloggers in Iran.
  2. Hashtags, the only two legitimate hashtags being used by bloggers in Iran are #iranelection and #gr88, other hashtag ideas run the risk of diluting the conversation.
  3. Keep you bull$hit filter up!  Security forces are now setting up twitter accounts to spread disinformation by posing as Iranian protesters.  Please don’t retweet impetuosly, try to confirm information with reliable sources before retweeting.  The legitimate sources are not hard to find and follow.
  4. Help cover the bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30.  Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches.  If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.
  5. Don’t blow their cover! If you discover a genuine source, please don’t publicise their name or location on a website.  These bloggers are in REAL danger. Spread the word discretely through your own networks but don’t signpost them to the security forces. People are dying there, for real, please keep that in mind.
  6. Denial of Service attacks. If you don’t know what you are doing, stay out of this game. Only target those sites the legitimate Iranian bloggers are designating.  Be aware that these attacks can have detrimental effects to the network the protesters are relying on.  Keep monitoring their traffic to note when you should turn the taps on or off.
  7. Do spread the (legitimate) word, it works!  When the bloggers asked for twitter maintenance to be postponed using the #nomaintenance tag, it had the desired effect. As long as we spread good information, provide moral support to the protesters, and take our lead from the legitimate bloggers, we can make a constructive contribution.

Please remember that this is about the future of the Iranian people, while it  might be exciting to get caught up in the flow of participating in a new meme, do not lose sight of what this is really about.

Carlyle Group

March 21, 2009

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3995.htm

Blair War Crimes Foundation…

February 19, 2009

At last… A Blair Foundation with Purpose…

http://blairfoundation.wordpress.com/

little-ali-1

He must be so proud of what he and his ghoulish, greedy self serving snake friends have achieved around the globe.  33 degrees for sure.

————————————————————————————————————–

BWCF – THE BLAIR WAR CRIMES FOUNDATION

To The President of The United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, and The Attorney General of the United Kingdom, and their successors in office.

RE ANTHONY CHARLES LYNTON BLAIR
We, the citizens of the United Kingdom and other countries listed, wish to uphold The United Nations Charter, The 1998 Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court, The Hague and Geneva Conventions and the Rule of International Law, especially in respect of:-

1: 1949 Geneva Convention IV: Article 146
The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention.

2: 1907 Hague Convention IV: Article 3
A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all the acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.

We therefore call on you to indict Anthony Charles Lynton Blair in his capacity as recent Prime Minister of the UK, so long as he is able to answer for his actions and however long it takes, in respect of our sample complaints relating to the 2003 Iraq War waged by the UK as ally to the United States of America.

We are concerned that without justice and respect for the rule of law, the future for us and our progeny in a lawless world is bleak, as revealed by recent US declarations about the use of torture and the events of December 2008 in Gaza show.

The following are our sample complaints relating to the Iraq War 2003-2009:

1: Deceit and conspiracy for war, and providing false news to incite passions for war, causing in the order of one million deaths, 4 million refugees, countless maimings and traumas.

2: Employing radioactive ammunition causing long-term destruction of the planetary habitat.

3: Causing the breakdown of civil administration, with consequent lawlessness, especially looting, kidnapping, and violence, and consequent breakdown of womens’ rights, of religious freedom, and child and adult education.

4: Failing to maintain the medical needs of the populace.

5: Despoliation of the cultural heritage of the country.

6: Supporting an ally that employs ‘waterboarding’ and other tortures.

7: Seizing the assets of Iraq.

8: Using inhumane restraints on prisoners, including dogs, hoods, and cable ties.

9: Using Aggressive Patrolling indiscriminately, traumatising women and children and wrecking homes and property.

10: Marking bodies of prisoners with numbers, writing, faeces and other degrading treatment.

11: The use of cluster bombs and other indiscriminate weapons including white phosphorous on “shake and bake” missions.

12: Supporting indiscriminate rocket attacks from F16 fighter planes on women and children in Fallujah in Nov 2004

13: Supporting the shooting up of ambulances and medical personnel in Fallujah in Nov 2004

14: Supporting the expulsion of the entire population of Fallujah save for young men of military age, for a reprisal attack on that city in Nov 2004.

Copy to the Secretary General of The United Nations, Ban Ki-moon

Issued by secretaries to Foundation: David Halpin, MB, FRCS and Nicholas Wood MA, RIBA, FRGS
PO BOX 64656 NW3 9NG (UK)

Email: blairfoundation@yahoo.co.uk

http://blairfoundation.wordpress.com/

“Even if George Bush was only guilty of making an innocent mistake in taking this nation to war in Iraq, not murder as I firmly believe, with all of the death, horror and suffering he has caused, what type of a monstrous individual is it who could be happy with his life? What type of a human monster is George Bush?…
…If I ever killed one person in my life, even accidentally – a car accident – I’d never have another perfect day as long as I lived. George Bush is responsible for the horrible deaths of thousands of human beings and he is talking about having a perfect day. Bush’s plans to have a perfect day right in the middle of all the death and horror in Iraq goes so far beyond acceptable human conduct that no moral telescope can discern its shape, form and nature,” – Bugliosi on Bush.

A good example of the very real, valid and important events which take place every day, which virtually ALL of the mainstream media do their best to simply avoid. You have to ask yourself why.

Bugliosi concluded his discussion with the promise that he will pursue first-degree murder charges against President Bush and will not rest until the president is indicted.

“I don’t like to see anyone get away with murder, even one murder. [O.J.] Simpson got away with two murders and I got so angry that I wrote a book – Outrage, the Five Reasons O.J. Simpson got away with murder,” Bugliosi said. “If I can get so angry about someone getting away with one or two murders you can imagine how I feel about George Bush who has gotten away with over 100,000 murders and has been smiling and enjoying himself throughout the whole period. It may sound presumptuous of me but I can tell you that while I may not succeed, I’m not going to be satisfied until I see George Bush in an American courtroom being prosecuted for first degree murder.

If justice means anything at all in America, if we are not going to forget about those 4,000 young American soldiers who came back from Bush’s war in a box, I say we have no choice but to bring murder charges against the son of privilege from Crawford, Texas.”

Full thing here >

http://www.hotpotatomash.com/2008/06/video-exclusi-2.html