Tomorrow, those Blackwater security guards are supposed to surrender to authorities in Utah:
WASHINGTON – Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards indicted in Washington for the 2007 shooting of Iraqi civilians plan to surrender to the federal authorities Monday in Utah, people close to the case said, setting up a court fight over the trial site.
The case already is shaping up to be a series of contentious legal battles before the guards can even go to trial. By surrendering in Utah, the home state of one of the guards, the men could argue the case should be heard in a far more conservative, pro-gun venue than Washington, some 2,000 miles away.
The five guards, all military veterans, were indicted on manslaughter charges Thursday for their roles in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. A sixth guard reached a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid a mandatory 30-year prison sentence.
Now, I say “just another thread”, because I did have a thread about the incident after it happened last year. And in the spirit of the other post, I’m not sure if I want this one to focus on the incident itself or the legal situation that these five guys find themselves in. Instead, I think I’m going to use the story as an excuse to revisit the topic that kinda flew under the radar the last time, especially now that we’re a over a year post-surge in Iraq and people are now declaring our victory and everything. So…
Just how big of an impact have the contractors like Blackwater had on what’s transpired? Or, asked another way, how large of a component of the “surge” have they been, and how critical to the mission’s success?
It’s a topic that doesn’t get mentioned much, so I’m mentioning it. The effort has been more privatized than any other in our history, so I think it’s worth examining. And while the V-I Day proponents claim to honor the sacrifice of American, Iraqi, and other coalition forces, they’re ignoring the tens of thousands of hired guns who were handsomely compensated by the American taxpayer. How come? After all, contractors (armed and otherwise) have suffered over 1,000 dead and 10,000 wounded, a rate of approximately one for every four of the U.S. Armed Forces.