In pleading guilty to manslaughter, the sixth security guard, Jeremy P. Ridgeway of California, described how he and the other guards used automatic rifles and grenade launchers to fire on cars, houses, a traffic officer and a girls' school. In addition to those killed, there were at least 20 people wounded.
The six guards were employed by Blackwater Worldwide, the largest security contractor in Iraq; the company, based in North Carolina, has not been charged in the case.
Mr. Ridgeway said in court documents that the episode in Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, started when the guards opened fire on a white Kia sedan "that posed no threat to the convoy."
He told investigators that although he could not clearly see the front passenger in the Kia, he noticed that the passenger was moving hisarms, according to the documents.
The above is from Ginger Thompson and James Risen's "Plea by Blackwater Guard Helps Indict Others" in this morning's New York Times. The above is on Ridgeway who entered into a plea bargain and is not among the five men indicted yesterday. Also reporting on the indictments, Del Quentin Wilber's "Contractors Charged in '07 Iraq Deaths" (Washington Post):
One man was shot in the chest while he raised his arms in the air, prosecutors said. Another was wounded when a contractor's grenade detonated in a nearby girls school, and "many were shot inside of civilian vehicles while attempting to flee," prosecutors said in bringing federal manslaughter charges against the guards in the Sept. 16, 2007, shooting.
"None of the victims of this shooting were armed," said Jeffrey A. Taylor, U.S. attorney for the District, who announced the 35-count indictment issued by a federal grand jury in Washington. "None of them was an insurgent."
Josh Meyer's "U.S. details case against Blackwater guards" (Los Angeles Times -- link also has AP video) offers one reason for why prosecutors are putting weight behind Ridgeway's words:
The other guards have said they were defending themselves after being fired upon by suspected insurgents. But Ridgeway, who as the turret gunner in the last vehicle had a panoramic view, has provided information that strongly indicates the shootings were unprovoked, authorities said.
The members of Blackwater's Raven 23 convoy were not authorized to leave the fortified Green Zone on the day of the shootings, and "they also understood that they were only authorized to discharge their firearms in self-defense and as a last resort," according to a statement signed by Ridgeway and prosecutors.
But they did so anyway in response to reports that an improvised explosive device had exploded near a Blackwater security detail about a mile from Nisoor Square, Ridgeway said in his statement. The team also refused a subsequent U.S. government order to leave the civilian areas of Baghdad and return to the safety of the Green Zone "as soon as possible," Ridgeway said.
"In contravention of that order, the Raven 23 convoy, under the command of its shift leader, proceeded to set up a blockade at Nisoor Square to stop civilian traffic from flowing through the traffic circle," he said.
Such acts of defiance set the stage for the deadly incident, which was compounded because the Blackwater guards made "no attempt to provide reasonable warnings" to the driver of a white Kia sedan who unwittingly approached the blockade only seconds after it was set up and failed to come to a complete stop, according to Ridgeway, court documents and statements by senior Justice Department officials.
Ridgeway said he and other members of the Blackwater team pumped hundreds of machine-gun rounds into the Kia, killing its occupants, a second-year medical student named Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia'y and his mother, a doctor, who was sitting in the passenger seat.
Now let's turn to Aging Socialite's Cat Litter Box where the idiot Chris Weigant thinks he can twist the truth and get away with it. Why not? Aging Socialite's never exactly told the truth about anything and that goes way beyond claiming George Clooney wrote a 'blog post' for her bad site. So Weigant feels he can get away with anything there as well. (No link to trash.) Sadly, not being the celebrity w**re his mistress is, Weigant thinks he's qualified to discuss the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement which the White House and the puppet government in Baghdad pushed through.
Among other things, he wants to act as if it's difficult to find an English version of the treaty: "For the details, you have to read the document itself. It's not as widely available as you might think online, but the New York Times does have a PDF version available." Oh, do they, Weigant, you stupid idiot?
The "version" they have is the one the White House released on Thanksgiving. From that day's snapshot: "That version is published online by the White House in PDF format (click here)." That's what the New York Times has. And, for the record, something posted to a government website is "widely available," moron. The Iraqi Parliament passed it Thanksgiving Day and that's when the White House finally decided to make it available to the public and if Dumb Ass Weigant knew a damn thing about what he was writing, he'd also know that the White House's decision not to release it before that vote was made public in a news report. I'll assume in a week or two he'll make like Christopher Columbus and inform he's 'discovered' that too but I'll be damned if I'll spoon-feed the willfully uninformed.
Weigant, who is an idiot who has no background to read a legal document of any sort, let alone a contract, sees goodness and wonder in the treaty.
He has no idea of what the Arabic version said (or that it's available online in an English translation), that this is exactly what Joe Biden said was happening back in April, or, really, anything. He knows nothing and only at Aging Socialite's Cat Litter Box could such ignorance run free. Remember when Gabor sisters knew to stick to wigs and tell-alls?
Weigant promises a second-part of bad analysis. For the laughter factor, no doubt. He has no idea what he's looking at and he's a moron because he thinks he can work his way through bit by bit from start to finish. Article 30 is the governing clause. You're wasting everyone's time if you jaw bone -- as Weigant does -- from Articles One through Twelve. What a moron.
[Article 30 is how the treaty is altered or ended. It's what makes it a one-year contract with two options for renewal. Article 30 makes any and everything 'promised' earlier in the contract that would take place after 2009 optional and not contractual.]
We would say "Welcome to the party, cake's all gone . . ." But, fact of the matter, unless Weigant's someone's seeing eye dog, his owner would need to provide his shot history before I'd even consider letting him in my home. With few exceptions, trash gets parked at the curb.
If you doubt that it's trash, grasp what he refuses to, without US Congressional approval, Bully Boy is again circumventing the Constitution and, important point, the Democratically controlled Congress appears willing to let him break the law as does the incoming president-elect.
But what does any of that matter? The uniformed and uneducated Weigant has read over half the treaty (yes, only half) and thinks it's groovy. Well toss the love beads to the crowd already.
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