US Federal Court Dismissed All Charges Against Blackwater Security Guards

Justice you can believe in!

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Blackwater Worldwide security guard Nick Slatten (C) leaves the federal courthouse after being arraigned with 4 fellow Blackwater guards on manslaughter charges for allegedly killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 others in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq expressed its disappointment on Friday with a U.S. federal court ruling that threw out all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of gunning down Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the five men had committed a “serious crime” in the September 2007 shooting in Baghdad, which strained U.S.-Iraqi relations and became a symbol for many Iraqis of foreign disregard for local life.

Dabbagh said Iraq may sue the private security company, now known as Xe Services.

“The Iraqi government regrets and is disappointed by the U.S. court’s decision … We have our own investigations and they showed that Blackwater committed a serious crime in the killing of 17 Iraqi citizens,” Dabbagh said.

“The Iraqi government is considering other legal means through which it can sue the Blackwater company,” he added.

Read moreUS Federal Court Dismissed All Charges Against Blackwater Security Guards

Exposed: American Police Force (AFP) Is A Blackwater Front Group

US: American Police Force (AFP) is taking over towns


APF web page admits it runs Blackwater-controlled U.S. Training Center, proving that the two organizations are one and the same

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UPDATE: Blackwater Claims APF Illegally Using Logos, Material

UPDATE: The American Police Force website page which clearly states that they run the Blackwater-controlled U.S. Training Center is back online here.

American Police Force, the paramilitary unit patrolling a small town in Montana, has been exposed as being a front group for the disgraced private military contractor Blackwater, now called “Xe”.

The American Police Force website, on a page that has swiftly been deleted but remains cached here, states that APF runs the “U.S. Training Center,” which proves “a wide range of instruction and training for all types of law enforcement organizations, from basic firearms training to complex SWAT tactics,” according to the website.

The Blackwater website carries on its contact page the following address, underneath the logo for U.S. Training Center.

Xe Services, LLC
PO Box 1029
Moyock, NC 27958

Xe Services LLC is the new name of Blackwater USA. In addition, the U.S. Training Center contact page carries the exact same address.

PO Box 1029
Moyock, NC 27958

The U.S. Training Center is run by Blackwater. Indeed, The U.S. Training Center website, can be accessed via Blackwater’s forwarding URL at http://www.blackwaterusa.com/.

According to a February 2009 NY Times article, the U.S. Training Center is a Blackwater “subsidiary that conducts much of the company’s overseas operations and domestic training.” Blackwater changed the name of the facility from its old title, Blackwater Lodge and Training Center, earlier this this when they also changed their own name to “Xe”.

Since Blackwater runs the U.S. Training Center, and the American Police Force stated on its own website, before it was deleted this morning, that it also runs the U.S. Training Center. This means that either APF is lying about running the U.S. Training Center and is therefore effectively posing as Blackwater, or APF and Blackwater are one and the same.

Exposed: American Police Force Is A Blackwater Front Group 011009shot2a
CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT: The American Police Force website, on a page that has now been deleted, states that the organization runs the U.S. Training Center.

Exposed: American Police Force Is A Blackwater Front Group 011009shot1a
CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT: From Blackwater’s USA’s website with the U.S. Training Center logo at the top.

Exposed: American Police Force Is A Blackwater Front Group 011009shot3a
CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT: From the U.S. Training Center website, the contact address is the same as on the Blckwater site becaue Blackwater owns the U.S. Training Center.

A domain registry check confirms that the U.S. Training Center website is registered to XE Services.

The fact that American Police Force attempted to hide the link by deleting the page on their website is further evidence that they are trying to conceal the fact that they are nothing more than a front group for Blackwater.

The U.S. Training Center is the training facility for Blackwater’s front group, American Police Force. This means that the new training facility that “American Police Force” are trying to build in Hardin is another Blackwater training facility.

This also means that Blackwater troops, under the guise of “American Police Force” have been patrolling Hardin, posing as law enforcement, and are also attempting to boss the $27 million dollar detention center recently built in the Montana town.

Many people have expressed suspicions that the convicted criminal running “American Police Force,” Michael Hilton, is not really the leader of the company and is merely a go between for his bosses. This is now confirmed by the revelation that APF is a front group for Blackwater.

APF’s reticence to divulge who their parent company was to reporters is also explained by the fact that they are a Blackwater front.

As the videos below discuss, Blackwater has been widely attacked for its involvement in atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read moreExposed: American Police Force (AFP) Is A Blackwater Front Group

Why Is President Obama Still Using Blackwater?

About Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, is the author of the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is an award-winning investigative journalist and correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!.

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Two years ago on September 16, 2007, on a steamy hot Baghdad day with temperatures reaching 100 degrees, a heavily armed Blackwater convoy entered a congested intersection at Nisour Square in the Mansour district of the Iraqi capital. The once-upscale section of Baghdad was still lined with boutiques, cafes and art galleries dating back to better days. The ominous caravan consisted of four large armored vehicles with machine guns mounted on top.

As the Blackwater convoy was entering the square that day, a young Iraqi medical student named Ahmed Hathem Al-Rubaie was driving his mother, Mahasin, in the family’s white sedan. As fate would have it, they found themselves stuck near Nisour Square. The family were devout Muslims and were fasting in observance of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ali Khalaf Salman, an Iraqi traffic cop on duty in Nisour Square that day, remembers vividly when the Blackwater convoy entered the intersection, spurring him and his colleagues to scramble to stop traffic. But as the Mambas entered the square, the convoy suddenly made a surprise U-turn and proceeded to drive the wrong way on a one-way street. As Khalaf watched, the convoy came to an abrupt halt. He says a large white man with a mustache, positioned atop the third vehicle in the Blackwater convoy, began to fire his weapon “randomly.”

Khalaf looked in the direction of the shots, on Yarmouk Road, and heard a woman screaming, “My son! My son!” The police officer sprinted toward the voice and found a middle-aged woman inside of a vehicle holding a 20-year-old man covered in blood, who had been shot in the forehead. “I tried to help the young man, but his mother was holding him so tight,” Khalaf recalled. Another Iraqi policeman, Sarhan Thiab, also ran to the car. “We tried to help him,” Thiab said. “I saw the left side of his head was destroyed and his mother was crying out: ‘My son, my son. Help me, help me.”’

Officer Khalaf recalled looking toward the Blackwater shooters. “I raised my left arm high in the air to try to signal to the convoy to stop the shooting.” He says he thought the men would cease fire, given that he was a clearly identified police officer. The young man’s body was still in the driver’s seat of the automatic vehicle and, as Khalaf and Thiab stood there, it began to roll forward, perhaps as a result of the dead man’s foot remaining on the accelerator. Blackwater guards later said they initially opened fire on the vehicle because it was speeding and would not stop, a claim hotly disputed by scores of witnesses. Aerial photos of the scene later showed that the car had not even entered the traffic circle when it was fired upon by Blackwater, while the New York Times reported, “The car in which the first people were killed did not begin to closely approach the Blackwater convoy until the Iraqi driver had been shot in the head and lost control of his vehicle,” meaning Blackwater had already shot the man. “I tried to use hand signals to make the Blackwater people understand that the car was moving on its own and we were trying to stop it. We were trying to get the woman out but had to run for cover,” Thiab said.

“Don’t shoot, please,” Khalaf recalled yelling. But as he stood with his hand raised, Khalaf says a gunman from the fourth Blackwater vehicle opened fire on the mother gripping her son and shot her dead before Khalaf’s and Thiabs’ eyes. “I saw parts of the woman’s head flying in front of me, blow up,” Thiab said. “They immediately opened heavy fire at us.” Within moments, so many shots had been fired at the car from “big machine guns” that Khalaf says it exploded, engulfing the bodies inside in flames, melting their flesh into one. “Each of their four vehicles opened heavy fire in all directions, they shot and killed everyone in cars facing them and people standing on the street,” Thiab recalled. “When it was over we were looking around and about fifteen cars had been destroyed, the bodies of the killed were strewn on the pavements and road.” When later asked by US investigators why he never fired at the Blackwater men, Khalaf told them, “I am not authorized to shoot, and my job is to look after the traffic.”

Read moreWhy Is President Obama Still Using Blackwater?

On the Edge with Max Keiser (08/21/09): Revolution is in the air in America

More on Blackwater (now XE):
CIA hired Blackwater mercenaries to try to hit al-Qaeda
“Incestuous” relationships between Blackwater and the US government
Blackwater got a new $22.2 million deal from the State Department
Paul Craig Roberts: Americans: Serfs Ruled by Oligarchs


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Read moreOn the Edge with Max Keiser (08/21/09): Revolution is in the air in America

Blackwater got a new $22.2 million deal from the State Department

More change!


Days after the Baghdad government decided it no longer wanted the company then known as Blackwater in Iraq, the State Department signed a $22.2 million deal in February to keep the embattled contractor working there through most of the summer, contract records show.

The decision keeps Blackwater – since renamed Xe – in Iraq months longer than anyone has suggested publicly, while raising questions about why the U.S. would pay a contractor for work in Iraq if it may not be able to operate there legally.

The State Department has been under pressure from Blackwater critics, including several in Congress, not to renew the company’s contracts in Iraq. Much of the concern stems from a 2007 incident that left 14 Iraqi civilians dead and six former Blackwater guards facing manslaughter charges. One of the guards pleaded guilty, but the company was accused of no wrongdoing in the incident.

In late January, the Iraqi government said it would not renew Blackwater’s operating license and that the company would have to leave as soon as a joint Iraqi-U.S. committee completes its work on guidelines for the operation of private security companies. State Department officials said they would honor the decision.

Read moreBlackwater got a new $22.2 million deal from the State Department