2007-11-14

FBI investigates Blackwater

From the department of unprofessional-professionals:
Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case.

The F.B.I. investigation into the shootings in Baghdad is still under way, but the findings, which indicate that the company’s employees recklessly used lethal force, are already under review by the Justice Department.

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek indictments, and some officials have expressed pessimism that adequate criminal laws exist to enable them to charge any Blackwater employee with criminal wrongdoing. Spokesmen for the Justice Department and the F.B.I. declined to discuss the matter.
On one level, this does not surprise me in the least. The entire Iraq venture has been a complete shambles from beginning to (eventual) end.

Blackwater is a mercenary organisation, to put it bluntly. It is doing what it does not for patriotic reasons but for money. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but this investigation by the FBI shows that they are anything but professional. In this situation Blackwater is under obligation to perform according to strict guidelines of engagement. But if Blackwater personnel are given more "lax" guidelines than US soldiers, you have to wonder what the point is.

What is interesting to me is that this incident has meant an investigation not by the military, but by the FBI. The FBI has neither any interest in whether Blackwater is found guilty or not - their interest is (in theory) only doing their job and investigating the incident dispassionately. By contrast, a military investigation into alleged crimes committed by members of the military has an interest in making sure their men are looked after, rather than investigating properly. That was the reason why Colin Powell helped cover up the My Lai Massacre, and why it took such a long time to investigate the atrocities at Abu Ghraib. I wonder if the FBI, or some other independent investigative agency, should investigate all alleged claims of abuse against US Soldiers.

Nah. Wouldn't work. US soldiers guilty of war crimes? Not possible...



1 comment:

Ron Lankshear said...

I was disgusted by the whole event. A mass of traffic. Guns all around the town. How would these people know they were being challenged. And if they realised how they do not know its good guys which they weren't anyway. And why does it take that much firepower. Surely first a warning into a tyre.
Yuk Go the FBI