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Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blackwater, whitewash: prosecute Moonen and Scobey for murder

We are, of course, watching the action being taken on the Blackwater massacre. We expect the trial to end with a non-guilty verdict. The Justice Department wants to lose this one.

Now the question is: why is Andrew Moonen, the Blackwater guard who shot and killed a bodyguard to the Iraqi vice president “while drunk last Christmas Eve”, to quote the Washington Post article of Oct. 7, 2007, is still at large. And why Margaret Scoby, who was acting ambassador to Iraq in December, 2006, and facilitated Moonen’s return to the States within 35 hours with no charges against him, is not being investigated, at least, as accessory to murder.

I believe the answer to that is: it would be hard to find a jury anywhere who wouldn’t convinct Moonen. As the point of these prosecutions is to appear to do something while continuing the whitewash of Blackwater and, more significantly, the utterly corrupt relationship between Blackwater and the State department, the latter of which has been on record, through its spokesman, about how pleased they are that State department officials have never been injured while Blackwater decimated Iraqis. The logic here is impeccable – the State Department sets the value of an Iraqi life at something like 15000 dollars, while the lives of its own personnel are priceless.

From Talking Points Memo

After an infamous December incident wherein a drunken Blackwater contractor shot and killed a bodyguard for Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi, one U.S. embassy official wrote to another:

Will you be following in up Blackwater [sic] to do all possible to ensure that a sizable compensation is forthcoming? If we are to avoid this whole thing becoming even worse, I think a prompt pledge and apology -- even if they want to claim it was accidental -- would be the best way to assure the Iraqis don't take steps, such as telling Blackwater that they are no longer allowed to work in Iraq.
In State's defense, an embassy cable from Secretary Condoleezza Rice argued "strongly" that "justice had to be done." But justice is a relative thing. When embassy officials proposed the price for the guard's life be pegged at either $100,000 or $250,000, a State diplomatic-security official countered with $15,000. The figure needed to be lower, the diplomatic-security official contended, so Iraqis wouldn't "try to get killed to set up their family financially." Two days after the shooting, Blackwater and State agreed that the guard's family should receive $15,000."

Thus, a few hunting accidents, a few trophy Iraqi deaths, all come out in the wash – in fact, a trophy Iraqi head is less expensive than a safari trip to shoot bear.

Prosecuted Andrew Moonen. Prosecute Margaret Scoby.

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