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Blackwater Employees Charged With Manslaughter

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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:41 PM
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Blackwater Employees Charged With Manslaughter
Today the New York Times reported that five Blackwater USA employees have been indicted on voluntary manslaughter charges in relation to the shootings that took place in Baghdads Nisour Square. The story also says that a sixth employee, Jeremy Ridgeway, plead guilty to manslaughter charges last week. All this despite the fact that the State Department offered Blackwater employees immunity immediately after the shootings in exchange for their cooperation.

The sudden flip-flop in position by the Bush administration can leave someone scratching their head and asking; how did this happen?

In the recently agreed upon status of forces agreement (SOFA), Article 12, Section 8 states: Where Iraq exercises jurisdiction pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article, members of the United States Forces and of the civilian component shall be entitled to due process standards and protections consistent with those available under United States and Iraqi law. The Joint Committee shall establish procedures and mechanisms for implementing this Article, including an enumeration of the grave premeditated felonies that are subject to paragraph 1 and procedures that meet such due process standards and protections. Any exercise of jurisdiction pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article may proceed only in accordance with these procedures and mechanisms.

In other words, any unlawful action by soldiers or military contractors may now be prosecuted, but there is one major hurdle. Both sides, Iraq and the United States, must agree as to how the accused shall be prosecuted and under which laws they will be tried under.

Rest at: http://www.sheerprogress.com/?p=732
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