Sunday, January 10, 2010
By now it's all over the news: the United States Justice Department continues it's undeclared war on the Company Formerly Known as Blackwater:
Two Security Contractors Charged in Afghanistan Killings
January 7, 2010 9:52 p.m. EST
Washington (CNN) - Two men who worked as security contractors for the company formerly known as Blackwater have been charged with murder in the killings of two Afghan men, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Christopher Drotleff and Justin Cannon are charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder each in connection with the May shootings in Kabul. The 12-count, 19-page indictment returned by a federal grand jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia also includes weapons charges against the two men.
The indictment was returned Wednesday but unsealed Thursday.
Both men were in Afghanistan working for the security company Paravant, a subsidiary of Xe, the military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide. FBI agents have arrested both men, the Justice Department announced.
Drotleff, Cannon and two other contractors, Steven McClain and Armando Hamid, were involved in the May 5, 2009, shooting that left two Afghan civilians dead and another wounded. The men had been hired by Paravant to help the U.S. Army train Afghan troops.
The contractors said they were driving their interpreters on a busy Kabul street called Jalalabad Road at around 9 p.m. when a car slammed into one of their two cars.
This vehicle driven by a contractor was hit in Kabul, Afghanistan, in May, leading to a deadly shooting.
"I immediately thought we were under attack," McClain said in May.
The contractors got out to help their colleagues, and the vehicle that had struck the car did a U-turn and headed back at them, the men said. The contractors fired at the oncoming vehicle.
"The car was coming at us," Cannon said in May. "At that point we attempted to stop and immobilize the vehicle and we engaged it in small arms fire. And the car didn't stop, it just kept going."
STORMBRINGER's TAKE ON IT:
While I'm not a huge fan of Blackwater, in this case I say the burden of guilt is on the accuser. After what happened in Fallujah in 2004, any and every Westerner in the Middle East has got damn good reason to have a good immediate action drill for Jihad-fueled Road Ragers:
March 31, 2004: Four Blackwater Employees Killed and Mutilated in Fallujah
Where is the outrage? The burned, mutilated corpses of two Blackwater contractors hang from a bridge outside Fallujah while Iraqi civilians celebrate.
Four employees of the private security firm Blackwater; Jerry Zovko, Wesley Batalona, Scott Helvenston and Michael Teague, were blockaded by a mob while driving through Fallujah, and killed by small arms fire. Their bodies were then taken out of their two vehicles and mutilated by the angry mob. Images of two corpses of the contractors hanging from a bridge over the Euphrates River were seen all over the world.
We've got a few places here in the United States where whatever happens - you don't stop and you never get out of the vehicle. Parts of Fayetteville, North Carolina are like that and I can name them for you. Oakland, California - where I joined the Army - has a few ambush zones of it's own.
Sounds to me like these guys will walk - they've already said the magic words: "I immediately thought we were under attack."