Friday, August 4, 2017

In Blackwater Case, Court Rejects a Murder Conviction and Voids 3 Sentences

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out lengthy prison sentences for three former Blackwater Worldwide security contractors and ordered a new trial for a fourth involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad that became a symbol of unchecked, freewheeling American power in Iraq.

The shooting killed or injured at least 31 civilians when contractors unleashed a torrent of machine-gun fire and launched grenades into a crowded downtown Baghdad traffic circle from their heavily armored trucks. An F.B.I. agent once called it the “My Lai massacre of Iraq.”

The ruling is a setback to the effort — which now stretches across three presidential administrations — to demand stiff consequences for the shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. Along with the massacre by Marines of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha and the abuses of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, it was among the war’s darkest moments and stained the reputation of the United States.

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