Thursday, October 23, 2014

Justice for Nisour Square

On September 16, 2007, Blackwater mercenaries ran amok in Nisour Square, Baghdad, indiscriminately firing at civilians. 17 people were killed and 20 injured. Today, a US jury has convicted them of that crime:

Three security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have been found guilty of the manslaughter of a group of unarmed civilians at a crowded Baghdad traffic junction in one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war.

A fourth, Nicholas Slatten, was found guilty of one charge of first-degree murder. All face the likelihood of lengthy prison sentences after unanimous verdicts on separate weapons charges related to the incident.

The weapons charge alone carries a 30-year sentence. OTOH, courts in other Iraq war crimes cases have been reluctant to impose serious sentences even for cases of outright murder. Failure to do so again will simply reinforce the need for an international court to provide justice for America's victims.