The State Department encouraged Blackwater guards involved in Baghdad's Nisoor Square shootings, by offering them immunity from criminal prosecution.
Right now, it sounds like the convoy with Blackwater guards was going the wrong way around a traffic circle. The guards thought they were under attack, and started shooting. They killed 17 Iraqis, but left enough witnesses to implicate them.
The FBI is investigating the shootings, but since the State Department promised the Blackwater guards immunity, that testimony isn't available to the FBI.
The guards aren't entirely off the hook. The FBI can try to turn up evidence - now that the crime scene has been in use for over a month - and can try to get testimony on by re-interviewing people.
Meanwhile, back at the American State Department, "it's not clear why the Diplomatic Security investigators agreed to give immunity to the bodyguards, or who authorized doing so." (FOXNews.com)
There may have been good reason for offering immunity to the Blackwater guards, but it looks to me like someone in the State Department managed to make America look bad: this time, by apparently shielding killers.
Posts about the Blackwater shootings at Nisoor Square, Baghdad
- "More Stupid Shooting in Iraq"
(October 19, 2007)
- "Fixing the Blackwater Mess: A Sign of American Strength"
(October 6, 2007)
- "Blackwater Employees and Dead Iraqis: Let Foreigners Try Americans?!"
(October 4, 2007)
- "Blackwater USA: Not the Ideal Goodwill Ambassadors"
(September 18, 2007)
- "Bad News from Iraq, with a Small Silver Lining"
(September 17, 2007)
- "Arrogance, Stupidity, Iraq, and the State Department"
(October 27, 2007)