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Blackwater Protesters Given Secret Trial and Criminal Conviction

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posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 05:14 AM
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Blackwater Protesters Given Secret Trial and Criminal Conviction


www.alternet.org

Baggarly recalled the story of one of the Nisour Square victims he and his fellow activists attempted to dramatize in their protest: "Mohammed Hafiz was driving four children when Blackwater mercenaries riddled the car with bullets. His ten-year-old son Ali was shot in the head. Mohammed had to gather up pieces of the child's skull and brains for the burial. During one point in the massacre, Blackwater operatives concentrated fire on a passenger bus. A small boy fled the bus in terror and was shot down as was his mother who ran after him."

The defendents said that they believed no court would hold Blackwater responsible for these killings and that, by committing civil disobedience on the company's private military base that day, they were guided by higher principles, citing the U.S. Constitution and the Bible.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 05:14 AM
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I still don't understand how Americans can sit idly by and watch as people are killed in their name and our laws are broken by people hired by this administration. These protestors who attempted to act from their conscience were instantly prosecuted, while the Blackwater killers are payed and protected by taxes from your hard-earned money. Now someone has the gall to say that America needs Romney? Remember, he's the guy who wants more Gitmos and you can bet, more Blackwater. I just don't get the logic.

Our first amendment rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to protest. When was the last time we have seen any MSM coverage of an anti-administration or anti-corporate protest that didn't include quashing of American rights? I can't remember a story in recent times that was about a peaceful protest and the message the protestors were trying to get out. Do we all think that Americans have forgotten how to protest, or could it be something else?

www.alternet.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 11:55 PM
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Once again I am glad that the dark side of patriotism is being exposed.

However, my sympathies are not entirely with the protesters. They appear to be in fact guilty of the crimes they were charged with. Regardless of any criminality perpetrated by Blackwater, these protesters had broken the law. I am not saying that Blackwater should not be investigated, but this is not a defense for their actions. The trial was not a forum to express their political views, regardless of whatever truth they believe.

It's sort of like the old useless defense when you get a speeding ticket. You can't get out of it by reminding the cop that there are murderers and rapists walking the streets while he is there writing you this ticket.

Having said all of that, I am glad that these protesters did stage their particularly poignant protest.

I would also like to know how charges could in fact be leveled against American perpetrators of war crimes.

Lastly, I am quite concerned about the fact that this trial was held behind closed doors, though this practice is not unheard of when a judge is trying to avoid disruption in the court room so that the facts may be presented. Were the defendants' attorneys present?



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 07:11 AM
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reply to post by lifestudent
 


its called infiltration my friend,take my word for it.

"they" infiltrate peaceful protests and cause trouble to discredit,they usually have covered faces and such.and they do it for money cos thier corrupt,souless apes who are going to hell.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 08:52 AM
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Well, seems to me like Blackwater is open to extermination by everyone present within certain range of their operations.
I figure they ain't military or police, they're more like a gang of sorts.

It has been repeatedly shown that they have little regard for anything other than their objectives, which are commonly self serving.
Because of this they are a threat to anyone who may have a chance encounter with them. Therefore, killing of the threating party if they cross your path in full gear is merely self defense.

Perhaps not the most elegant of notions, but I feel they are an ever increasing threat, and the day they start rollin down my streets.....well, it'll be a Colorful day indeed....



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by LockwithnoKey
Well, seems to me like Blackwater is open to extermination by everyone present within certain range of their operations.
I figure they ain't military or police, they're more like a gang of sorts.


Just out of idle curiousity...as mercenaries, are Blackwater even protected by the Geneva Conventions, or are they subject to summary execution in the field as guerrillas?



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


As I understand it, they meet what is defined by the Geneva convention as a mercenary.
And as such, they are entitled to trial prior to execution. And it would be by a civilian court I believe, instead of Military.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by lifestudent
 


The thing you have to remember is that Blackwater is a large organization, comprised of many individuals. Taking a specific event, and then trying to extrapolate behavior patterns on the entire group is the same logical fallacy, as trying to point out examples of soldiers/marines screwing up. There are some that will, in any organization. To say all contractors, soldiers/marines, are predisposed to do the wrong thing is just not accurate.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by BlueRaja
Taking a specific event, and then trying to extrapolate behavior patterns on the entire group is the same logical fallacy, as trying to point out examples of soldiers/marines screwing up.

Maybe, but there's a difference between a court martial, and getting fired. Seems to be a different chain of command, and didn't Rummy say you go to war with the army you've got? Corporate is better armed, better paid, acts with impunity...and it all comes out of your pocket.

Sounds like crapola to me.

Why not put all that dough into putting armour in your troops vests, instead?



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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Wow. Does anyone even read these articles before jumping into conspiracy mode anymore? This is far from an unbiased news source, the agenda is quite clear, but even the news article accidently mentions the truth:



Some of the demonstrators marked Blackwater's large welcome sign -- with the company's bear claw in a sniper scope logo -- with red hand prints.


They went to far. No one has any problems with people being dramatists or protesting whatever they want. You can't deface someone else's property. Being blinded by ideology isn't an excuse. Your free to protest on public property, but not on private property. If someone staged a protest in my yard and started defacing my mailbox, I'd call the police too. And I'd do whatever I could to make sure they got punished for it. The article is clearly misleading, as no one was thrown into jail for protesting: but they were thrown into jail by violating someone's personal property, where they did not have the right to protest.

Of course the reality is activists love being thrown into court rooms and into jail. It makes for good news stories, and lets the proclaim that they are going against "THE MAN" - anyone who thinks these people didn't do this on purpose to get arrested is crazy. This was intentional, it was a political move, and so far your falling for it.

As for secrecy, LOL - try again. The records of everything in the trial are public information. The court was only cleared because the people in the court were intentionally disrupting the trial. No judge is going to sit back and let people make a mockery of his or her court room. That doesn't mean the trial was secret - if it was, you wouldn't know about it. Further, the transcripts of the proceeding are public record.



But witnesses that day report that there was no disruption -- and the defendants say they were immediately cut off when they strayed from the narrow scope of the trespass charge to discuss Blackwater's actions or the war.


Oopsie! But going off the reason why your IN COURT to go off into a political rant WOULD be disrupting the court room. The court room is not there to cater to your personal political rants. Lucky for them they got one who did when they appealed, but its not the norm - they got lucky.

Note I am not supporting Blackwater, but neither do I buy into sensational journalism - and its even worse when its sensational journalism colored by an obvious political agenda. Now, let the bashing of me due to not blindly following a political ideology begin!

[edit on 30-1-2008 by LightinDarkness]



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:13 AM
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I'm not sure I'd agree with the better armed statement. They may have a shorter procurement process, but in terms of firepower, Blackwater just doesn't have the same kind of budget as the DOD.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by LightinDarkness
 


The problem I see with activists is that they are so passionate about their cause, that they believe that they're entitled to do anything in protest, or to try to interfere with that with which they disagree. (i.e. animal rights folks throwing paint on people, environmentalists putting spikes in trees, so when a lumberjack hits it with his saw, he gets injured or killed, etc....).
They use the same tactics and policies that they complain about- the ends justifies the means....



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by BlueRaja
 


While I do have to agree that in this case, the activists may have gone a little too far when they marked the sign, I don't believe the courthouse should have been cleared.

They were standing up for a worthy cause and pointing out a growing problem that is not being addressed through our legal system, nor told to the American people through our media.

The hypocrisy, IMO, is not that they were prosecuted for damage to property (was the paint washable?), or really even trespassing, but that they were prosecuted so severely, secretly, and so quickly while the Blackwater people who have killed numerous innocent civilians in a case that cannot even be called self-defense seem they will get away with not so much as a slap on the wrist. We used to be a nation of law, where NO ONE was seen to be above the law. Now we hear things like "there are no laws under which they can be held accountable". What??! The more we see that if you've got the right political connections in high places, you can be above the laws that apply to common people, the more our system as a government "by the people, for the people" will be perceived as a farce.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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Some Blackwater personnel have(or may have) acted unprofessionally(or perhaps even criminally). Some soldiers/marines have too. My point is that when you take specific incidents, and use them to indict an entire organization, and use broad brush strokes. I'm not supporting bad behavior by anyone, but I don't like stereotyping and generalizations.
If wrong doing occurred, it should be punished by the US justice system though, not by a foreign system that doesn't have the same protections built in.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:22 AM
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If wrong doing occurred, it should be punished by the US justice system though, not by a foreign system that doesn't have the same protections built in.

I can agree with that, but they should be subject to some law, and if not the foreign country's, then ours. So why not bring them home and give them their due process, not delays until people forget about it followed by citations.

Regardless of how the protestors made their statement, it does not diminish the need for charges and a speedy trial for the Blackwater people involved.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:29 AM
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I agree that if criminal behavior occurs it should be punished. I also think you have to establish whether there was premeditation, whether it was due to negligence, or if someone was acting in good faith and it was a case of s#%t happens, before deciding on the level of guilt or punishment.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by lifestudent
Our first amendment rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to protest.

The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

There is no Right to Protest guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Your pal,
Meat.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by lifestudent
The hypocrisy, IMO, is not that they were prosecuted for damage to property (was the paint washable?), or really even trespassing, but that they were prosecuted so severely, secretly, and so quickly while the Blackwater people who have killed numerous innocent civilians in a case that cannot even be called self-defense seem they will get away with not so much as a slap on the wrist. We used to be a nation of law, where NO ONE was seen to be above the law.

The hypocrisy is the tone in your post that suggests that these poor, innocent vandals and trespassers are being treated unfairly.

Thing is, though, that most of these wackos were repeat offenders - one having FIVE (5) prior convictions - and certainly knew what they were doing. They were tresspassing and vandalizing the property of others.

Whether the paint was washable or not is so completely irrelevant it's laughable.

Whatever point they were attempting to make is invalid. Whatever they were protesting is irrelevant. They're the criminals. And good on them that they were (again) convicted, and I can only hope that they learn their lesson; ours is a nation of law.

Your pal,
Meat.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by lifestudent
They were standing up for a worthy cause and pointing out a growing problem that is not being addressed through our legal system, nor told to the American people through our media.


But you see, that's just the point. Not everyone thinks this is a worthy cause. I don't. I think there is real evil to be addressed in this world, and while Blackwater is certainly a faceless amoral corporation that's the way capitalism works. There is real evil in the world though. Famine. Disease. People who can't even get clean water. But those aren't fun issues to protest because they aren't political.

I hear about Blackwater on the media constantly, I'm not sure what media your referring to. If anything, there is a media bias against them. As one would expect, since what they do makes for good sensationalist journalism.

Why do you continue to say they were prosecuted severely or secretly? How is it secret when every statement is public record? How is it severe to prosecute someone for defacing private property? As I said before, you do realize that they did this on purpose: getting arrested is an activists dream.

People cannot choose to turn court rooms into a circus. They don't have a right to do that. If we want to have order in the court system, people have to be put on trial for their offenses, and not think its an opportunity to start a political circus through due process. We are a nation of laws. Thats why defacing private property gets you thrown in court. It seems the only people who think they should have been above the law are the protestors. You want to start something against Blackwater? The court system is there for you. File a suit.

There is a reason why no one has done so...even THOUGH some leftist groups would drool at the chance. Because they know they'd lose, because there is no case. People will probably or may have already begin filing frivolous law suits to get media attention, though.

[edit on 31-1-2008 by LightinDarkness]



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 02:34 PM
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Originally posted by BlueRaja
I'm not sure I'd agree with the better armed statement. They may have a shorter procurement process, but in terms of firepower, Blackwater just doesn't have the same kind of budget as the DOD.


Nearly a year after Congress demanded action, the Pentagon has still failed to figure out a way to reimburse soldiers for body armor and equipment they purchased to better protect themselves while serving in Iraq. Soldiers and their parents are still spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for armor they say the military won’t provide. www.msnbc.msn.com...


There's a difference between having a budget, and spending it where it ought to go.



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