Lest We Forget

As reported by Jeremy Scahill in the Nation:

... the US Justice Department appears to be on the verge of handing down the first indictments against armed private forces for crimes committed in Iraq. The reported targets of the "draft" indictments: six Blackwater operatives involved in the September 16, 2007, killing of seventeen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square.

This is potentially good news, although a little late. Still, these Blackwater killers could very easily get away with it. Just because the Justice Department is drafting something doesn't mean that indictments will follow, especially given the half-hearted way they've proceeded with the investigation. Maybe they're seeing whether or not they can drag their feet into the next administration.

Even if indictments do come down, there's also the very real possibility that a few "Blackwater operatives" (slick little euphemism for hired thugs) will simply be the scapegoats for the organization's war crimes. It's not just these six individuals who need to be hauled up on charges, but Erik Prince and the whole murderous, war-profiteering, gun-smuggling Blackwater organization itself.

Comments

Blackwater

Just spitballing here, but I think that in a way it could serve Blackwater's interests to sacrifice a couple of their employees this way.

If no indictments were to emerge from that incident, the fact of this seeming failure to be held accountable would continue to be used against Blackwater. They're much better off with the indictments because it gives them an out. They can say, "oh, dear, those renegades! Can't have that, no sirreee, not in our top notch group!"

They can then wipe their hands off and say, "Glad we plucked those bad eggs out! Now, onto the next lucrative contract!."

The indictments help the issue gets shifted to whether these particular individuals went beyond their duties instead of being focused on whether what Blackwater does in the first place is in our national interest.

Sadly, I think this trend toward privatization of government functions is going to continue.

You're right for sure

It avoids the broader conversation by hanging a few mercenary renegades out to dry.