Ali Kinani, 9 years old, was killed by Blackwater guards in Baghdad #Trump just pardoned his killers.

#Trump ‘killed justice’ with pardon of ‘war criminals’: Twitter erupts with disgust as Blackwater contractors walk free12/23/2020 ● 6:27 PM

Iraq massacre survivors 'disappointed' by Trump's pardoning of Blackwater  guards | The National

Iraq massacre survivors ‘disappointed’ by Trump

Who are the criminals and fascists? Donald Trump’s decision to pardon four Blackwater contractors involved in the 2007 slaughter of Iraqi civilians was met with a tsunami of anger and resentment online from people calling it a travesty of justice. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday evening that he is issuing 15 full pardons and commuting the punishments of five convicts to time served. Four of the people given clemency were former employees of the infamous private military company Blackwater.

Victims of Blackwater Crimes in Iraq Condemn Overturning of Murder  Conviction | Financial Tribune

Victims of Blackwater Crimes in Iraq condemn Trump

They were serving lengthy prison terms, including a life sentence in one case, for the Nisour Square massacre, one of the most notorious episodes in the US’ military engagement in Iraq. Seventeen Iraqi civilians, including one child, were killed in the crowded Baghdad square in September 2007, after the US contractors opened fire on people with machine guns, sniper rifles, and grenade launchers.

The investigation concluded that at least 14 of them were killed without any reason. The unprovoked attack was carried out by Blackwater guards who were escorting a US Embassy convoy and allegedly thought they had been ambushed. After a protracted legal process, four people were sentenced to various prison terms. Nicholas Slatten, who was accused of opening fire first and triggering the attack on civilians, received a life sentence.

Trump pardons Blackwater contractors jailed for massacring civilians in  Iraq | The Independent

Trump pardons Blackwater contractors

The news that all four convicts will now walk free, their punishments considered enough, was met with much anger, as public figures and ordinary commenters lashed out at Trump’s decision. Glenn Kirschner, a former US Army prosecutor who is now a legal analyst with MSNBC, said the president “killed justice” with his pardons.

Mark Hertling, a retired general who was involved in the 2007-08 troop surge, called the move “the most egregious and disgusting” of Trump’s actions. Politician Richard Ojeda, a retired mayor, said Blackwater contractors in Iraq were a bunch of “cowboys” who “caused trouble for us, active duty troops.” Representative Ilhan Omar called the pardoned contractors “mercenaries” and “war criminals,” whose release “will leave a dark mark on the history of presidential pardons.”

Trump Pardons Blackwater 4 for Nisour Square Massacre in Iraq, because  Whites must never Suffer for Killing Innocent Brown People

Trump Pardons Blackwater 4

Others pointed out that securing the convictions of the four perpetrators was a difficult challenge for the justice system, and that the efforts were apparently wasted by the pardons. Some said that while Trump’s pardon was appalling, people should keep in mind that he was not the one who launched the 2003 Iraq invasion in the first place.

George W. Bush and other architects of the war are now a respectable part of the bipartisan establishment in the US. Supporters of the former contractors had been arguing that the men had been excessively punished and that their prosecution was tainted. “Paul Slough and his colleagues didn’t deserve to spend one minute in prison,” Brian Heberlig, a lawyer for one of the four pardoned defendants, said of the news. “I am overwhelmed with emotion at this fantastic news.”

The Nation: Blackwater Armed And Dangerous In Iraq : NPR

In 2007, Blackwater was headed by Eric Prince, the brother of Trump’s secretary of education, Betsy DeVos. He resigned and divested from the firm after the scandal over the massacre erupted. The company itself went through a series of re-brandings. Last year, Prince lobbied the Trump administration to replace US troops in Afghanistan with thousands of mercenaries.

Alma Cubanita


Ali was sitting in the back seat of his father’s SUV with two of his cousins. Blackwater riddled the car with bullets. Ali’s father was driving. When the shooting stopped they thought they had experienced a miracle that they were safe.

One of Ali’s cousins said that Ali had been shot. His father opened the door after seeing blood on the window – and Ali’s brain fell out onto the pavement between his father’s feet.

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