The Blackwater story is a lot like the Jeffrey Epstein story: a scandal in plain view that’s been hanging out there for years, essentially unexplored. From Brett Wilkins at antiwar.com:
Former Blackwater USA guard Nicholas Slatten was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison nearly eight months after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder for his role in the September 2007 massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians at Nisour Square in Baghdad.
“The jury got it exactly right, this was murder,” US Judge Royce Lamberth said while pronouncing the life sentence in Washington, DC. Lamberth rejected numerous requests for leniency from family, friends and supporters who argued in court that Slatten was a scapegoat being sacrificed upon the altar of US-Iraq relations. The defense had argued that the 35-year-old was “a person of high integrity” from a fourth-generation military family.
However, prosecutors charged that Slatten was the first to open fire during the September 16, 2007 massacre, killing 19-year-old Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, who was driving his mother to an appointment. The defense unsuccessfully argued that Slatten and other guards only started shooting after Al Rubia’y’s Kia sedan, which they thought might be a suicide car bomb, moved quickly toward their convoy.