Criminals and thugs. That is the description future historians will often use to describe members of the Bush Administration.
An official at the United States Embassy in Iraq has told federal prosecutors that he believes that State Department officials sought to block any serious investigation of the 2007 shooting episode in which Blackwater Worldwide security guards were accused of murdering 17 Iraqi civilians, according to court testimony made public on Tuesday.
David Farrington, a State Department security agent in the American Embassy at the time of the shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, told prosecutors that some of his colleagues were handling evidence in a way they hoped would help the Blackwater guards avoid punishment for a crime that drew headlines and raised tensions between American and Iraqi officials.
[Click to continue reading Interference Seen in Blackwater Inquiry - NYTimes.com]
and if you don’t have the mental stamina to click the link1
In a closed-door hearing, they also contended that they had evidence that, in the immediate aftermath of the shootings, there had been a concerted effort to make the case go away, both by Blackwater and by at least some embassy officials.
In fact, prosecutors were told that the embassy had never conducted any significant investigation of any of the numerous shooting episodes in Iraq involving Blackwater before the Nisour Square case, according to the documents.
In his October testimony, Mr. Kohl described how the Justice Department had “serious concerns” about obstruction of justice in the case. He also said prosecutors briefed Kenneth Wainstein, then an assistant attorney general, on evidence of obstruction by Blackwater management.
Mr. Kohl disclosed that prosecutors had discovered that five Blackwater guards who were on the convoy involved in the Nisour Square shootings reported to Blackwater management what they had seen. One guard, he said, described it as “murder in cold blood.” Mr. Kohl said that Blackwater management never reported these statements by the guards to the State Department.
He said that prosecutors informed senior Justice Department officials as early as 2007 that they were investigating whether Blackwater managers “manipulated” the official statements made by the guards to the State Department.
But he testified that prosecutors also had evidence of embassy officials thwarting the inquiry. In addition to the testimony of Mr. Farrington, Mr. Kohl said that United States military officials had told prosecutors that they witnessed State Department investigators “badgering” Iraqi witnesses
and I’d add, scum, to the description of Bushies cited above. Rule of Law, hah. Murderers for hire. Hessians were at least conscripted soldiers, not necessarily believers in the Divine Mission of their masters.Footnotes:
- really, you should [↩]