NO MORE IMPUNITY FOR BLACKWATER AND XE!!!!! USA MUST COME CLEAN AND GET RID OF ALL MERCENARIES IN ARMED FORCES NOW!!!!!!
By Another Victim of War
I’d like to ask American Veterans Against the War
to support the victims of the public square massacre by Blackwater. Until now Blackwater has had total impunity in the United States. Please speak out and get your loved ones—especially concerned Americans to speak out now.
The following points come from an interview on DEMOCRACY NOW yesterday. It concerns the famous BLACKWATER MASSACRE in a public square in Iraq—it was the case that forced Blackwater to change its name to Xe.
GARY MAUNEY, lawyer prosecuting Blackwater/Xe: This is not a case about national security at all. These were people who are in a public square in Iraq, much like the main intersection in Charlotte, North Carolina is called Trade and Tron, its the primary intersection in the city where we live. It’s the equivalent place to where this occurred. The Blackwater employees were in that square and they opened fire.
JEREMY SCHAHILL, filmmaker, reporter, & Iraq expert: [Paul] Dickinson [second lawyer taking Blackwater to Court while judges have thrown out all other cases] and Mauney have gathered volumes of evidence and interviewed scores of eyewitnesses. Perhaps the greatest piece of evidence comes from one of the men they are suing, Jeremy Ridgeway, a turret gunner on the Raven 23 team that day pled guilty to killing an unarmed civilian. Mauney points to Ridgeway’s own sworn statement.
GARY MAUNEY: He said Raven 23 was not supposed to be there, and what they did was not justified by any provocation whatsoever. This is not some lawyer making hyperbolic argument. This is Mr. Ridgeway was who was there, working for Blackwater at the time.
JEREMY SCHAHILL: In addition to Jeremy Ridgeway’s statement, Mauney and Dickinson plan to introduce statements made by other Blackwater guards in the square that day, who said they were horrified at what their colleagues did, saying that they shot at civilians for nothing and for no reason. With the Justice Department’s criminal case against Blackwater very much up in the air, Mohammed Kinani could well be the one man left standing between Blackwater and total impunity for the Nissour Square massacre. . . .
As Mohammed sat in his SUV with his 9-year-old son Ali, his sister Jenan and her three children, he realized that attempting to escape was not an option. As the shooting intensified, Mohammad yelled for the kids to get down. He and Jenan did the same.
MOHAMMED KINANI: Bullets were coming from the right and the left. My younger sister was trying to cover me with her body. So I pulled out of her grip and covered her with my body to protect her. I have pictures that show the head rest of my sister’s seat is full of bullet holes. It was horrific- extremely terrifying. I still wake up from sleep startled… ‘Why?’ I ask, ‘Why would they do this? We were civilians sitting in our cars. Most of the cars had families in them, so why did this happen? I kept hearing Boom, Boom, Boom in my car. Bullets were flying everywhere. It was horrific, horrific… I don’t know. I don’t know how to describe it.
After they killed everyone in sight, my sister and I kept still. I had her rest her head on my lap and my body was on top of her. We would sneak a peek from under the dashboard. The continued shooting here and there, killing this and that one. Then it cleared. Nothing was moving on the street. Only the Blackwater men were moving. Then, they drove off.
GARY MAUNEY: This is the last case standing in the United States right now. This is it. This is it.
Americans need to write their Congressmen, Senators, President Obama and VP Biden to hold Blackwater’s (Xe’s) feet to the fire. This memory will not remain only with the victims but with all Americans who stand for what is right—and not crawl away from what we did wrong in Iraq.
JEREMY SCHAHILL: Baghdad, September 16, 2007. Shortly before noon, a convoy of four armored vehicle departs the Green Zone, the heavily fortified U.S. base in Iraq. The men inside of the vehicles were elite private soldiers working for Blackwater. Their code name: Raven 23. The men had defied orders from their superiors to remain in the Green Zone and proceeded on to the streets of Baghdad. As they departed, they were again told to return to base, but they didn’t. Within minutes, Blackwater Raven 23 would arrive at the congested Baghdad intersection known as Nissour Square. 15 minutes later, at least 17 Iraqi civilians would be dead, more than 20 others wounded in a shooting that would down in infamy as Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday. You probably have never heard his name, but you likely know something about how 9-year-old Ali Mohammed Hafed Kinani died. He was the youngest person killed by Blackwater forces at Nissour Square. To this day, Blackwater has never faced justice for killing Ali and the other Iraqis that day. But his father Mohammed who was with Ali in Nissour Square, is determined to change that.
PLEASE CONTACT THE WHITE HOUSE here:
PLEASE CONTACT the U.S. SENATE here:
PLEASE CONTACT the U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES here:
I do not mean that metaphorically. A punishment is essential. The UN Working Group on Mercenaries advocate immediate action in the courts for the victims of the Nissour Square, i.e. in the Iraq/USA and elsewhere abroad.
Blackwater (Xe) leadership must apologize in dozens of ways, but simply saying an apology for dozens of needlessly wasted lives is an important start for America anew in 2010—a new decade to clean up the mess of privatized military of the Bush years.