Posted by: Tony Carson | 5 October, 2007

US leaders should be be charged with war crimes

Increasingly, the story of Blackwater’s conduct in Iraq is not just the story of the lethal excesses of the company, but of the US government’s enabling of the the lawless security company.

The issue is not simply that of the Blackwater forces’ horrid behavior but, more important, why the mayhem they unleashed upon innocent Iraqis was approved and covered up by the Bush administration,” says Robert Scheer in a Truthdig article The State Dept.’s Murderous Guardians.

For example, why did a top State Department official initially suggest a payment of $250,000 of American taxpayers’ money to conceal the uncontested fact that, as the House committee report states, “a drunken Blackwater contractor killed the guard of Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi”? He was never prosecuted.

That is just one question among many.

Another has an easy answer: why has Blackwater been hired to protect visiting US VIPs and not the military itself? The obvious answer is the very problem of Blackwater in microcosm: Blackwater does not operate under constricting regulations but in fact operates as it wished. An example from Scheer’s piece:

According to Blackwater’s own documents, the congressional committee reports, “in the vast majority of incidents … Blackwater shots are fired from a moving vehicle and Blackwater does not remain on the scene to determine if their shots resulted in casualties.” During one trip U.S. diplomats made to the Ministry of Oil, 18 different Iraqi civilian vehicles were smashed by the fast-moving motorcade. Those hit-and-runs were conducted in full view of the escorted State Department officials without any of them forcing a subsequent investigation.

This grubby little war, from its aerial bombardment on innocent peoples, to its illegal tortures and renditions, to the disgraceful displacement of over 4 million innocent people, to the denial of immigration into the US, to the murderous mayhem of the US-backed security firms is as pitiful a spectacle as any war has ever been.

The fact that the Bush Administration will not, can not cry “enough,” makes this fiasco positively iconic in its incompetence.

The Iraq war is the very reason the International Criminal Court was formed. Those countries who will not prosecute its own war criminals should have those criminals brought struggling before the international body.


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