Praise Guilty Verdict in Massacre of Iraqi Civilians

Blackwater helicopter in Baghdad

Target: Senior Judge Royce Lamberth with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Goal: Praise the court’s handling of the case of former Blackwater contractors who opened fire on Iraqi civilians, killing 17

The armed guards that viciously slaughtered 17 Iraqi civilians and wounded 20 more almost didn’t go to trial for their crimes. Long years later, four former Blackwater contractors were ultimately found guilty in the Nisour Square Massacre.

An initial attempt at a trial against the contractors was dismissed in 2008. The more recent trial involved dozens of witnesses, writes Common Dreams, many of whom traveled from Iraq to deliver their heartwrenching testimony. It took the jury nearly a month to reach this guilty verdict, which defense attorneys intend to appeal. The company then known as Blackwater earned hundreds of millions of dollars for its private military services in Iraq and, shockingly, continues to be awarded government contracts.

“Seven years ago, these Blackwater contractors unleashed powerful sniper fire, machine guns and grenade launchers on innocent men, women and children,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen. While this verdict does bring some justice it still fails to hold former Blackwater executives and government officials accountable for the conditions which made such tragedies inevitable.

Praise the District Court for hearing this important case and thus beginning the process of holding former Blackwater contractors accountable for their war crimes.


Dear Justice Lamberth,

The War on Terror has claimed hundreds of thousands of innocent victims, and few acts of violence have been as senseless as the Nisour Square Massacre. In 2007 dozens of Iraqis were gunned down in Nisour Square, and only recently has a criminal trial ever taken place. I am writing to applaud the District Court for hearing this important case, which ultimately led to a guilty verdict for four of the former Blackwater contractors responsible.

The executives and elected officials who share responsibility for these crimes, directly and indirectly, have yet to be brought to justice. And while nothing can bring back the men, women and children viciously slaughtered in Nisour Square my hope is that this case will help make contractors more accountable in the future. My sincere thanks to you and your colleagues at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for ensuring that these men went to trial for their part in the massacre.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: MSGT Michael E. Best via Wikimedia Commons

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