Our Mercenaries ~ Getting Away with Murder
"A judge in America threw out charges against members of the Blackwater security company yesterday who were accused of killing Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in one of the most notorious incidents since the 2003 invasion.
[. . .]
US district judge Ricardo Urbina ruled in favour of the Blackwater men yesterday, saying prosecutors wrongly used against them statements they had given under duress. He said the government's case was built largely on "statements compelled under a threat of job loss in a subsequent criminal prosecution," a violation of their constitutional rights. The state department, which employed Blackwater, had ordered the men to explain what had happened."
So, the judge doesn't want to look at the world and see if the Blackwater thugs actually fired wantonly at Iraqi civilians. He instead wants to protect the mercenaries and their constitutional rights. That seems fine to me, although no self-respecting mercenary - who in all likelihood would tend to be politically reactionary - surely would want to be seen as a coddled criminal found 'innocent' on the basis of a mere legal technicality! And, of course, I am certain that the courts trying various individuals accused of terrorism or whatever will be similarly concerned with the use of evidence based on "statements . . . given under duress." I wonder whether any of the mercenaries were water boarded, slammed into walls, or deprived of sleep for extraordinary lengths of time during questioning?