Stars and Stripes stripes.com 24 Dec, 2020 11:15 am

Pardons of Blackwater contractors who killed Iraqi civilians stir angry response

Pardons of Blackwater contractors who killed Iraqi civilians stir angry response
The shootings of civilians by Blackwater employees at a crowded Baghdad traffic circle in September 2007 prompted an international outcry, left a reputational black eye on U.S. operations at the height of the Iraq war and put the government on the defensive over its use of private contractors in military zones

Pardons of Blackwater contractors who killed Iraqi civilians stir angry response This combination made from file photo shows Blackwater guards, from left, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough.22, 2020, President Donald Trump pardoned 15 people, including Heard, Liberty, Slatten and Slough, the four former government contractors convicted in a 2007 massacre in Baghdad that left more a dozen Iraqi civilians dead and caused an international uproar over the use of private security guards in a war zone.government contractors convicted in shootings that killed that child and more than a dozen other Iraqi civilians.The resulting criminal prosecutions spanned years in Washington but came to an abrupt end Tuesday when President Donald Trump pardoned the convicted contractors, an act that human rights activists and some Iraqis decried as a miscarriage of justice.

"It was one of the very worst occasions I can remember in my time" in Iraq, said Ford, who teaches at Yale University.In Iraq, said Ford, the former diplomat, the pardons will "necessarily give some ammunition to those who say get the Americans out now.

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