Friday, January 18, 2008

Send Them Back To Iraq

Who says you can’t get away with murder. It just all depends on who you murder and where you murder them at. In what will surely be another case of justice delayed and justice denied, the Justice Department is laying the groundwork for not pursuing the case against the Blackwater employees involved in the killing of 17 innocent Iraqi civilians. In an effort to prepare us for their failure to bring charges, the people at Justice have been meeting with Congressional staffers to discuss the “difficulties” involved in the case.

WASHINGTON — Justice Department officials have told Congress that they face serious legal difficulties in pursuing criminal prosecutions of Blackwater security guards involved in a September shooting that left at least 17 Iraqis dead.

In a private briefing in mid-December, officials from the Justice and State Departments met with aides to the House Judiciary Committee and other Congressional staff members and warned them that there were major legal obstacles that might prevent any prosecution. Justice officials were careful not to say whether any decision had been made in the matter, according to two of the Congressional staff members who received the briefing.[1]

I guess we don’t have any laws on the books that cover the killing of innocent civilians by American corporate employees? Yeah, they hate us for freedoms. The freedom to go anywhere in the world and kill people without consequence is a great freedom to have, it’s no wonder the “terrorists” are angry. They kill innocent people and they get hunted down or have huge rewards offered for their capture, we do it and we don’t have anything to charge them with. I got it, how about pollution for breathing the same air that I breathe. Is this the height of arrogance or what? Americans have the freedom to kill anyone with no repercussions, unless you are a young blond white girl, no one is allowed to kill them.

If we do not have the laws or the jurisdiction to punish the guilty I have an idea, let’s send them back to Iraq and let the Iraqis put them on trial. I would be willing to bet that they have laws that deal with killing innocent Iraqis. In what would surely be seen as a move to demonstrate the sovereignty of the Iraqi government, we could give them the guards and let them put them on trial. But, no we can’t do that because that would equate the value of an Iraqi life with that of an American life and as many people around the world know that isn’t true. Just ask the many families that have witnessed the refusal of the US military to allow its members to be subject to the laws of their countries. There are well documented cases of US military personnel being sheltered from charges stemming from murder to rape in foreign countries.

The truth of the matter is that these guards will not face trial and it has nothing to do with “legal hurdles”. If these men were brought to trial it would open the flood gates and put the whole prosecution of the war on trial. It would reopen Abu Ghrab, water-boarding, and a whole host of other topics this administration would rather not revisit.

In a report to be issued Wednesday, the group, Human Rights First, argues that the laws are sufficient to prosecute contractors, including those working for the State Department, and that the Bush administration has failed to do so because of a lack of political will. The report specifically criticizes the government’s response to the September shooting in Baghdad.

“The U.S. government’s reaction to the shootings,” the report says, “has been characterized by confusion, defensiveness, a multiplicity of uncoordinated ad hoc investigations, and interagency finger-pointing. These failures underscored the Justice Department’s unwillingness or inability to systematically investigate and prosecute allegations of serious violent crimes.”[2]

Once again, the loss of innocent foreign life will fade into the darkness of past American atrocities. What are seventeen lives out of hundreds of thousands? The world will once again witness the hypocrisy that has characterized our foreign policy for decades and led to the backlash of anti-American feelings throughout the world. We talk about international law and respect for human life unless it runs contrary to our “national interest”, then it’s who needs French fries?


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