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Martin Ottmann sends:
The following has been filed in the consolidated Blackwater civil proceedings at the Virginia Eastern District Court in Alexandria. With this filing, all civil actions against Blackwater and Erik Prince, filed by Iraqi citizens, have been voluntarily dismissed. It has not been picked up so far by the press.
In Re: Blackwater Alien Tort Claims Act Litigation
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Case No.: 1:09-cv-615, 1:09-cv-616, 1:09-cv-617, 1:09-cv-618, 1:09-cv-645, 1:09-cv-1017, 1:09-cv-1048
Consolidated on July 17th, 2009
November 6th, 2009 - Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice
"[…] This matter comes before the Court on the application of the parties in the above-captioned actions for entry of an order of dismissal with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1), the parties having advised the Court that they have reached a settlement. It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that:
"A. All of the claims, actions and causes of action which any plaintiff in any of the above-captioned actions has, had, or may have, against any defendant in any of the above-captioned actions, arising out of or relating in any way to any of the alleged matters, transactions, representations, actions or omissions to act that were asserted or could have been asserted by any plaintiff against any defendant in this consolidated litigation are dismissed with prejudice; and
"B. The parties shall bear all of their own costs and attorneys' fees incurred in this action. […]"
“For the safety of these people, as well as U.S. government personnel and their own colleagues, security guards were obligated to refrain from firing their powerful weapons except when necessary for self-defense. The documents unsealed today allege that these six men disregard that obligation, and in doing so, violated U.S. law.
“Specifically, the defendants are charged with killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 other individuals in connection with this event. In addition, we can report that a sixth Blackwater security guard has pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and attempt to commit manslaughter for his role in the same shooting. This guilty plea also was unsealed today.
“[…] We’re here today to announce that a 35-count indictment has been unsealed in the District of Columbia. As you are aware, an indictment is merely a formal charging document notifying a defendant of the charges against him or her. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
“50. On July 1, 2007, a driver named Wala’a was driving a minibus for three related families who were going to Baghdad airport to apply for passports. The three families included (a) parents with four children, including a three-month old baby; (b) an uncle; and (c) a cousin and his wife.
“51. As the families were returning from the airport, six Xe-Blackwater vehicles, including three with turrets, surrounded the minivan and opened fire for absolutely no reason.
“52. The Xe-Blackwater shooters killed the nine-year boy.
“53. The Xe-Blackwater shooters shot the mother in the back as she bent over, trying to protect the three-month old daughter from being shot. She was unsuccessful, as the baby was shot in the face. […]
Originally posted by OmegaLogos
Or are you implying otherwise ADVISOR? That would be like claiming OJ was a murderer when he was found not guilty of that crime!
Amazon Review :
The bin Ladens are famous for spawning the world's foremost terrorist and building one of the Middle East's foremost corporate dynasties.
Pulitzer Prize–winner Coll (Ghost Wars) delivers a sprawling history of the multifaceted clan, paying special attention to its two most emblematic members.
Patriarch Mohamed's eldest son, Salem, was a caricature of the self-indulgent plutocrat: a flamboyant jet-setter dependent on the Saudi monarchy, obsessed with all things motorized (he died crashing his plane after a day's joy-riding atop motorcycle and dune-buggy) and forever tormenting his entourage with off-key karaoke.
Coll presents quite a contrast with an unusually nuanced profile of Salem's half-brother Osama, a shy, austere, devout man who nonetheless shares Salem's egomania.
Other bin Ladens crowd Coll's narrative with the eye-glazing details of their murky business deals, messy divorces and ill-advised perfume lines and pop CDs.
Beneath the clutter one discerns an engrossing portrait of a family torn between tradition and modernity, conformism and self-actualization, and desperately in search of its soul.
Amazon Review :
Steve Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 offers revealing details of the CIA's involvement in the evolution of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the years before the September 11 attacks.
From the beginning, Coll shows how the CIA's on-again, off-again engagement with Afghanistan after the end of the Soviet war left officials at Langley with inadequate resources and intelligence to appreciate the emerging power of the Taliban.
He also demonstrates how Afghanistan became a deadly playing field for international politics where Soviet, Pakistani, and U.S. agents armed and trained a succession of warring factions.
At the same time, the book, though opinionated, is not solely a critique of the agency.
Coll balances accounts of CIA failures with the success stories, like the capture of Mir Amal Kasi.
Coll, managing editor for the Washington Post, covered Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992.
He demonstrates unprecedented access to records of White House meetings and to formerly classified material, and his command of Saudi, Pakistani, and Afghani politics is impressive.
He also provides a seeming insider's perspective on personalities like George Tenet, William Casey, and anti-terrorism czar, Richard Clarke ("who seemed to wield enormous power precisely because hardly anyone knew who he was or what exactly he did for a living").
Coll manages to weave his research into a narrative that sometimes has the feel of a Tom Clancy novel yet never crosses into excess.
While comprehensive, Coll's book may be hard going for those looking for a direct account of the events leading to the 9-11 attacks.
The CIA's 1998 engagement with bin Laden as a target for capture begins a full two-thirds of the way into Ghost Wars, only after a lengthy march through developments during the Carter, Reagan, and early Clinton Presidencies.
But this is not a critique of Coll's efforts; just a warning that some stamina is required to keep up.
Ghost Wars is a complex study of intelligence operations and an invaluable resource for those seeking a nuanced understanding of how a small band of extremists rose to inflict incalculable damage on American soil.
Library Journal : Amazon Review :
In this book based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer , journalist Weiner probes the way the Pentagon has used secret budgets to fund huge military programs.
This has grown to the point that there are now more than 100 multimillion- and multibillion-dollar weapons systems, many of them nuclear weapons designed to fight and win World Wars III and IV, built without the awareness of the public or even the Congress.
Weiner takes a close look at programs such as the Stealth bomber and provides fascinating detail from Congressional testimony.
The thesis of the book--that secrecy in government military programs is antithetical to democracy--is well documented and hugely important.
As the Cold War draws to a close and military budgets come under attack, the public and Congress may tend to forget the defense establishment's inclination toward secrecy and self-perpetuation.
Weiner's book serves as a timely reminder that this would be unwise.
- Jennifer Scarlott, World Policy Inst., New York
Amazon Review :
This bold and important book strives to be a practical "strategy for a Second American Century."
In this brilliantly argued work, Thomas Barnett calls globalization "this country’s gift to history" and explains why its wide dissemination is critical to the security of not only America but the entire world.
As a senior military analyst for the U.S. Naval War College, Barnett is intimately familiar with the culture of the Pentagon and the State Department (both of which he believes are due for significant overhauls).
He explains how the Pentagon, still in shock at the rapid dissolution of the once evil empire, spent the 1990s grasping for a long-term strategy to replace containment.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Barnett argues, revealed the gap between an outdated Cold War-era military and a radically different one needed to deal with emerging threats.
He believes that America is the prime mover in developing a "future worth creating" not because of its unrivaled capacity to wage war, but due to its ability to ensure security around the world.
Further, he believes that the U.S. has a moral responsibility to create a better world and the way he proposes to do that is by bringing all nations into the fold of globalization, or what he calls connectedness.
Eradicating disconnectedness, therefore, is "the defining security task of our age."
His stunning predictions of a U.S. annexation of much of Latin America and Canada within 50 years as well as an end to war in the foreseeable future guarantee that the book will be controversial.
And that's good.
The Pentagon's New Map deserves to be widely discussed.
Ultimately, however, the most impressive aspects of the book is not its revolutionary ideas but its overwhelming optimism.
Barnett wants the U.S. to pursue the dream of global peace with the same zeal that was applied to preventing global nuclear war with the former Soviet Union.
High-level civilian policy makers and top military leaders are already familiar with his vision of the future—this book is a briefing for the rest of us and it cannot be ignored.
Quote from : Blackwater 'set up $1m hush fund for Iraq'
Former top executives at US security company Blackwater Worldwide have claimed it approved secret payments of around $1 million in an attempt to buy off angry Iraqi officials after Blackwater guards shot dead 17 civilians in Nisoor Square, Baghdad, it was reported today.