The unchecked and arbitrary power of the privatised mercenaries in Iraq received another boost today as the Blackwater soldiers who massacred seventeen Iraqis in 2007 will not stand trial. A US dismissed the charges against the men;
on the grounds that the five had had their constitutional rights violated by the way confession statements they had made had been used by the prosecution.The Guardian describes the incident in this way;
The statements were made when the men were under threat of losing their jobs if they did not cooperate with investigators. The US government had promised that their statements would not be used against them in a criminal case.
The incident began when a heavily armed Blackwater convoy moved into a busy square in Baghdad, after breaking an order to stay in the US-controlled green zone of the city, prosecutors allege. The five were accused of opening fire with automatic weapons and grenade launchers on unarmed civilians, killing children, women and men attempting to flee in their cars. One victim was alleged to have been shot in the chest while standing with his hands in the air.The men do not deny their role in the incident but claim they killed the men, women and children because they felt they were under enemy fire. I guess we'll never know.