We’d do well to remember the date September 16, 2007 in our future chronologies of the so-called “war” in Iraq. Stretched beyond what we could handle or maybe just for monetary considerations, the US decided to hire mercenaries, and events like the Blackwater Massacre of September 16th is what we get.
Read the first sentence of this New York Times article and then we’ll translate it into plain English: “Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case.”
These mercenaries murdered Iraqi civilians. “Violated deadly-force rules”? Wow, what an interesting way of putting it.
Of course, that’s not the worst part of it. They might even get away with it. Again, I refer to the Times article: “Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek indictments, and some officials have expressed pessimism that adequate criminal laws exist to enable them to charge any Blackwater employee with criminal wrongdoing.” We don’t have any laws to punish these guys?
The laws we do have are later described as “deficient” by Mr. Price, who is quoted in the article, but the term deficient is laughable. It doesn’t capture the intent of hiring the mercenaries. Creating legal black holes has been the modus operandi of the Bush administration. The Bush administration tortures and gets away with it. The Bush administration gets telecoms to eavesdrop on people and Congress lets these telecoms get off free. The laws are deficient for two reasons: One, the Bush administration doesn’t care about the rule of law, and two, Congress has cowardly abdicated its role as a check on the executive branch.
When these mercenaries get off with maybe a slap on the wrist, we’ll see the same damn old story about how the Democrats spoke their bravest and tried their darnedest, but just fell short. This will be a lie. At this point, the Democrats have revealed that they are complicit, active agents in the undermining of the rule of law. This will be further revealed with the Blackwater Massacre of September 16th.
We will look to September 16th in history as another black mark in this despicable age.
[Note on the word massacre: Some may consider it too harsh, but we have called lesser events massacres in American history (see Paul Revere). Futhermore, what else do you propose we call a slaughter of innocent civilians?]