Two Ex-Blackwater Guards Charged With Murder

The feds have charged two former Blackwater guards with second degree murder and attempted murder in the Eastern District of Virginia.

They are Justin Cannon, 27, and Chris Drotleff, 29. Both are in custody. The charges arise from a shooting in Kabul in which two Afghans were killed.

Both men have said in recent interviews with The Associated Press that they were justified in opening fire on a car that caused an accident in front of their vehicle, then turned and sped toward them after they got out to help.

< Geithner-Led NY Fed Told AIG To Limit Disclosure On Bank Swaps | Report on Detroit Plane Intel Failures , Obama To Discuss >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Isn't it way past time (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 02:23:36 PM EST
    for us to dispense with contracted mercenaries?  They have virtually no accountability.

    Yes, it is 'way past time (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 03:06:21 PM EST
    but don't count on being proud of our country on this anytime soon, as the story says:

    Several Blackwater contractors had been charged with 14 counts of manslaughter for their role in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad's Nisoor Square, but a judge dropped those charges last week.

    U.S. officials have struggled to demonstrate that the government has both the legal grounds and political fortitude to hold contractors accountable.

    Btw, in 2007, those would have been Blackwater employees, as I follow its clever name changes; the current charges are not exactly against former Blackwater employees, which suggests that they no longer were in its employ when they killed the Afghans.  I think it means that they were employees then of Xe, which formerly was Blackwater.  (And/or that they worked for Blackwater and then for Xe, without even a missed paycheck.)


    On the other hand... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 03:19:21 PM EST
    ...there most likely wouldn't be a USA without contracted mercenaries.  

    We might all still be HRM's subjects.


    History sucks (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 06:23:45 PM EST
    end of discussion :)

    Nope... (none / 0) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 06:52:36 PM EST
    ...I talking about any number of proud Poles like this and this.

    Don't forget the Frenchman (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 07:20:50 PM EST
    Lafayette, for whom we have named entire towns.  (And there are fascinating studies of how nuts this country went when Lafayette returned for a hero's fanfare.)  But yep, thanks for the links -- I'm in a very Polish town, where we have named schools and parks and streets and more for Kosh and Pulaski.

    Question.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 03:11:30 PM EST
    Kabul is in the feds jurisdiction?  Shouldn't these guys be extradited to Afghanistan to face the rap for a murder in Afghanistan?

    Opens a whole can of worms (none / 0) (#5)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 03:39:32 PM EST
    next they'd have to do the right thing and extradite Kissinger to Chile and on and on.

    WE say whats right and wrong not them.


    Whew....at least somebody understands (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 06:27:09 PM EST
    how it all works around here

    That was extreme sarcasm, btw (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 11:01:29 PM EST
    in case there's any misunderstanding.

    What? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 06:26:31 PM EST
    And betray them like that?  They are Americans, not thin brown people from some far away place.  What if they decided to hang them or something?  Personally I'm fine with Afghanistan taking care of business, but a whole bunch of contractors would quit us I bet if they thought we would hand them over to foreign countries if troubles arose :)  And I'm certain that would really upset a whole bunch of people on this blog if the mercs all just quit and went home :)

    fine with me (none / 0) (#12)
    by diogenes on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 10:33:14 PM EST
    Get rid of the mercs and sent more US Army troops instead to do the same job.  No problem with that.

    Well, in terms of what (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 09:04:01 AM EST
    we consider justice....if an Afghani killed someone here and was tried here I would be okay with it.  We are trying shoe bombers and underwear bombers here and I think we need to.  The existing "code" of justice in Afghanistan isn't conducive to upholding a fine social fabric, part of the existing problem there.  Would I be okay with them putting to death a bunch of mercs who opened fire on them for no reason and killed them....yeah, I guess I would.  If there were doubts though as to their guilt do I think they would get a fair trial.  Hell No!  Yet, isn't that how John Adams made a name himself?  Defending those that Americans would have strung up without trial simply because they were the outsiders and represented a greater power than our own?  Is there a definitive answer to where someone would be best tried for a crime?

    Dude, like I don't talk to people (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 09:25:10 AM EST
    who have been there :)  The opinions are deep, wide, and greatly varied.  And you have people in Afghanistan terrified about us leaving them.  And my husband is there right now, buying me pashminas.

    It is true that an American soldier (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 10:10:29 AM EST
    isn't getting the full experience most likely.  It isn't just American soldiers though either, in a recent letter home to his son my husband talks about his friends who are French, Brits, Dutch, German, Georgian just to name a few.  Granted he is in a place where he will touch all of those tentacles involved, and would they be there if we weren't?  I don't know.  This isn't just an American endeavor though and the terrorism that arises out of the failed state isn't just our terrorism problem alone.  It belongs to the world.

    It isn't a hard squeeze though (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 10:38:59 AM EST
    It's a more delicate squeeze.  More coaxing than squeeze.  We don't tromp around in Dubya pounding Fallujah style.  That's old school, didn't work, everyone died.

    Betray who.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 08:32:26 AM EST
    If you or I went to work abroad and was accused of murder, we wouldn't be extradited?

    Let the contractors quit...they shouldn't be getting paid so much more than our soldiers to do work soldiers should be doing anyway...or better yet if they all quit maybe everybody gets to go home.


    Hey, my spouse agrees with you (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 09:09:53 AM EST
    He despises working with contractors.  He thinks everyone should have the sand to sign on the line and give themselves over to Presidential authority or they don't belong doing this.  He has a certain purity about him where all this comes into play.  If things get really nuts though, all of your contractors quit and it puts a strain on your military and then they have to change their goals though too.  So there is an upside to having contractors.  Contractors are all under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ now too.  That does little to inspire better opinion for my husband though.  He thinks of them as all a bunch of soulless, spineless, gutless leeches and probably won't ever develop a better definition of any of them.

    Your old man.. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 09:40:16 AM EST
    sounds like the kind of polar opposite I'd get along smashingly with:)

    The use of mercs only lends creedence to the theory that the occupations are all about making profits happen for the connected...


    At least two... (none / 0) (#26)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 10:40:42 AM EST
    of the seven CIA personnel killed last week were Blackwater mercs. What their functions were is unknown not security).