Figures. Joe Biden Tells Iraqi Officials He Wants Blackwater Contractors Retried
Joe Biden urged the democratic Iraqi government to allow Baath Party members to run in their upcoming elections. (Aswat Aliraq)
What a surprise. Joe Biden told Iraqi officials today that he wants the five Blackwater security contractors retried after their case was thrown out of court last month. They were accused of manslaughter after a deadly ambush in Iraq in 2007.
The U.S. will appeal a court decision dismissing manslaughter charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security contractors involved in a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday.
Biden’s announcement after a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani shows just how diplomatically sensitive the incident remains nearly three years later.
Blackwater security contractors were guarding U.S. diplomats when the guards opened fire in a crowded Baghdad intersection. Seventeen people were killed, including women and children, in a shooting that inflamed anti-American sentiment in Iraqi.
Biden expressed his “personal regret” for the shooting and said the Obama administration was disappointed by the dismissal. “A dismissal is not an acquittal,” he said.
The U.S. rebuffed Iraqi demands that the U.S. contractors face trial in Iraqi courts. After a lengthy investigation, U.S. prosecutors charged five of the contractors with manslaughter and took a guilty plea from a sixth.
But the case fell apart in December after a judge found that the Justice Department mishandled evidence and violated the guards’ constitutional rights. Prosecutors now face difficult odds getting an appeals court to reinstate the case.
Hat Tip K. Solomon