January 1, 2009  

Wrong court

To the U.S. government over its handling of the Blackwater case in which security guards are charged with voluntary manslaughter over the Sept. 17, 2007, shooting at Nisur Square in Baghdad. The allegations against the Blackwater guards are of the most serious nature. It is right and proper that indictments have been served and a trial be held, but it should be a U.S. court-martial hearing. The Blackwater guards were operating in a war zone under the hire of the State Department to provide wartime security. The indictment charges the security guards with voluntary manslaughter, attempt to commit manslaughter and weapons violations during the shooting. These allegations should be treated as breaches of military codes of conduct during war. A military judge and jury are best equipped to judge this case.