Blackwater Guards Found Guilty of Killing 17 Iraqi Civilians in 2007

It is possible to hold wrongdoers to account even government contractor mercenaries…. Blackwater Guards Found Guilty of Killing 17 Iraqi Civilians in 2007 Jury finds security guards for private contractor guilty of manslaughter for notorious massacre in Baghdad. The Guardian / By Dan Roberts Three security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have

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Blackwater Guards Found Guilty of Killing 17 Iraqi Civilians in 2007

To find out more about your rights and the process to hold government agents and corporations accountable… http://SueWrongdoers.com – here is another example of YES it can work holding wrongdoers accountable…

Blackwater Guards Found Guilty of Killing 17 Iraqi Civilians in 2007

The Guardian / By Dan Roberts

Three security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have been found guilty of the manslaughter of a group of unarmed civilians at a crowded Baghdad traffic junction in one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war.

A fourth, Nicholas Slatten, was found guilty of one charge of first-degree murder. All face the likelihood of lengthy prison sentences after unanimous verdicts on separate weapons charges related to the incident. Lawyers for the guards say they plan to appeal.

The Nisour Square massacre in 2007 left 17 people dead and 20 seriously injured after the guards working for the US State Department fired heavy machine guns and grenade launchers from their armoured convoy in the mistaken belief they were under attack by insurgents.

But attempts to prosecute the guards have previously foundered because of a series of legal mistakes by US officials, and the case had attracted widespread attention in Iraq as a symbol of apparent American immunity.

Now, after a 10-week trial and 28 days of deliberation, a jury in Washington has found three of the men – Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard – guilty of a total of 13 charges of voluntary manslaughter and a total of 17 charges of attempted manslaughter.

The fourth defendant, Slatten, who was alleged to have been first to open fire, was found guilty of a separate charge of first-degree murder. Slough, Liberty and Heard were found guilty of using firearms in relation to a crime of violence, a charge which can alone carry up to a 30-year mandatory sentence.

Prosecutors had claimed Slatten, the convoy’s sniper, viewed killing Iraqis as “payback for 9/11” and often “deliberately fired his weapon to draw out return fire and instigate gun battles” or tried to smash windscreens of passing cars as his convoy rolled through Baghdad.

Jeremy Ridgeway, another member of the convoy known as Raven 23, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2008 and agreed to testify against his colleagues in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

Although jurors failed to reach a verdict on three of the manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges relating to Dustin Heard, he was found guilty of the remaining 17, and the near clean-sweep will be seen as overwhelming endorsement of the government’s case that the massacre was unlawful.

Prosecutors told the jury that Slatten triggered the incident by shooting the occupants of a civilian car during a traffic jam at a busy roundabout in Baghdad. As the car rolled forward, other members of the convoy of three armoured vehicles opened fire indiscriminately with heavy weapons claiming they thought they were under attack from an attempted car bombing.

The case hinged on whether or not the defendants’ belief that their convoy was under attack could be justified by limited evidence apparent to them at the time.

Their lawyers focued on the allegedly erratic behavior of one of the vehicles at the junction and evidence of AK-47 bullet casings found nearby, which some witnesses claimed they heard being fired toward the convoy.

Nevertheless, during the trial’s emotional closing arguments, jurors were told of the “shocking amount of death, injury and destruction” that saw “innocent men, women and children mowed down” as they went about their business in downtown Baghdad.

Federal prosecutor Anthony Asuncion said: “These men took something that did not belong to them: the lives of 14 human beings. They were turned into bloody bullet-riddled corpses at the hands of these men.”

“It must have seemed like the apocalypse was here,” said Asuncion in his closing argument, as he described how many were shot in the back, at long range, or blown up by powerful grenades used by the US contractors.

“There was not a single dead insurgent on the scene,” claimed the prosecutor. “None of these people were armed.”

After he described at length the harrowing fate of individual Iraqi civilians attacked by the Blackwater convoy, Asuncion’s voice was shaking, and he was asked to repeat a key line for the court stenographer to hear. “[The witness] opened the door and his son’s brains fell out at his feet,” Asuncion shouted the second time. “As [the witness] put it, ‘the world went dark for me’.”

Dozens of witnesses and relatives from Iraq were flown over for the trial, some showing jurors the scars on their bodies and giving evidence that caused one juror to be recused after she said she could no longer sleep at night.

Prosecutors also recapped evidence from Blackwater colleagues who testified against the accused, claiming they acted with contempt for Iraqi civilians and boasted of turning “a guy’s head into a canoe” and “popping his grape”.

Earlier in the trial, these witnesses had spoken of telling the accused to “cease-fucking-fire” after the attack, which one described as “the most horrible botched thing I have ever seen in my life”.

But defence attorneys argue the men were acting in legitimate self-defence after suspecting a car that was rolling toward them at a busy traffic intersection could contain a bomb.

Blackwater – renamed first Xe Services and then Academi after the incident saw it thrown out of Iraq and dubbed a mercenary force by a United Nations report – reached a civilian settlement on behalf of six of the victims in 2012 and paid an undisclosed sum in compensation.

FBI investigators who visited the scene in the following days described it as the “My Lai massacre of Iraq” – a reference to the infamous slaughter of civilian villagers by US troops during the Vietnam war – in which only one soldier convicted.

Nevertheless, the first attempt to bring the case to trial was thrown out by a judge after it emerged that State Department investigators had promised the defendants that statements made after the attack and leaked to the media would not be used against them in court.

In an unusual political intervention, vice-president Joe Biden promised the US would pursue a fresh prosecution during a trip to Iraq and an appeal court later ruled these errors in witness interviews did not sufficiently taint the evidence to prevent a trial.

Nevertheless, prosecutors were still forced to drop manslaughter charges against Slatten because they had mistakenly exceeded the statute of limitations during the wrangling, and had to pursue tougher charges against him instead because there was no time limit for murder.

The 14 victims killed by the Blackwater guards on trial were listed as Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, Mahassin Mohssen Kadhum Al-Khazali, Osama Fadhil Abbas, Ali Mohammed Hafedh Abdul Razzaq, Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Qasim Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Sa’adi Ali Abbas Alkarkh, Mushtaq Karim Abd Al-Razzaq, Ghaniyah Hassan Ali, Ibrahim Abid Ayash, Hamoud Sa’eed Abttan, Uday Ismail Ibrahiem, Mahdi Sahib Nasir and Ali Khalil Abdul Hussein.

Source
http://www.alternet.org/world/blackwater-guards-found-guilty-killing-17-iraqi-civilians-2007?akid=12…

Lawsuits a last resort after formal complaint process left people feeling unsatisfied

BY DAN FUMANO, THE PROVINCE OCTOBER 27, 2014 12:55 PM Lawsuits a last resort after formal complaint process left people feeling unsatisfied In our series of stories about dealings with the Osoyoos RCMP, one theme is consistent: the people were all disappointed with the formal process to complain about the conduct of RCMP members. In two separate ongoing

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Revenue Canada’s letters full of gobbledegook,

And you are liable for reading understanding and obeying everything in the in comprehensible Income Tax code AND their incomprehensible letters too you? Sure, that seems about fair… find out how to hole them to account at httt://suewrongdoers.com

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/revenue-canada-s-letters-full-of-gobbledegook-internal-report-finds-…

Revenue Canada’s letters full of gobbledegook, internal report finds

Tax notices are so confusing, recipients are often not sure whether they owe money, study finds

By Dean Beeby, CBC News Posted: Oct 29, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 29, 2014 5:00 AM ET

An internal report says the Canada Revenue Agency’s letters to taxpayers are frequently unintelligible. (istockphoto.com)
The next time you puzzle over an indecipherable letter or notice from the Canada Revenue Agency, don’t blame yourself: even the tax department acknowledges it churns out a lot of gobbledegook.

A study of the agency last month confirms the millions of communications that bureaucrats send to taxpayers each year are poorly organized, confusing, unprofessional, unduly severe, bureaucratic, one-sided and just plain dense.

All that gibberish comes with a human cost: confused taxpayers swamp the agency’s call centres with needless telephone inquiries, or they send thousands of letters to tax offices asking for clarification.

And Canadians who receive government benefit cheques sometimes get cut off without cause because they don’t understand the unintelligible letters the agency sends to them asking for information.

The findings appear in an internal evaluation of the 130 million pieces of mail that tax officials issue each year to businesses, charitable groups and individual taxpayers, virtually all of it through Canada Post rather than electronically.

A New York-based consultant firm hired to examine a cross-section of CRA’s letters found the “information was not well organized, (the) presentation of information did not inspire confidence; and (the) tone used lacked empathy.”

“Often the main purpose of the documents was not readily apparent, and other important information was scattered throughout the document or embedded in dense paragraphs,” Siegelvision said in its $25,000 review for the government.

Misunderstood letters

The evaluation included an online survey of taxpayers by another firm, which asked respondents to examine a typical CRA notice that required the recipient to send the tax agency money. About half of those surveyed could not figure out they were supposed to write a cheque to the government because the document was so poorly written.

Worse, many of those surveyed claimed they understood the sample document when in fact they did not, says the $90,000 survey from TNS Canada Ltd.

‘Participants … often do not understand much of the information expressed in the letters they receive’- Consultant report for Canada Revenue Agency

Separate work commissioned from the Walker Consulting Group in 2012-2013 found that taxpayers they interviewed considered the letters and notices to be full of gibberish.

“Participants indicated that they often do not understand much of the information expressed in the letters they receive,” said the Walker report.

“Many indicated a degree of frustration about not understanding various pieces of information contained in letters from the CRA.”

The Siegelvision study also compared the CRA’s standard communications with those of the Internal Revenue Service in the United States, which in July 2008 began a major initiative to improve the clarity and accuracy of its correspondence.

American versions clearly indicated that the taxpayer owed the government money, while the CRA equivalents were confusing, with long preambles and weak presentation. The agency’s correspondence also compared poorly with tax letters and notices in Australia, Britain and the province of Quebec.

The evaluation blames the problem partly on older letter-generating software at the CRA that offers bureaucrats little flexibility in customizing or improving their communications.

The agency said it accepts the findings, and plans to consult businesses this fall to find ways to improve clarity, as part of a “red-tape reduction” initiative.

Looking for feedback

“The CRA will also engage Canadians to solicit their feedback on how to improve our correspondence with them,” beginning next year, spokesman Philippe Brideau said.

Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency says it plans to boost the clarity of its communications as part of a new initiative starting in February next year. (Kady O’Malley/CBC News)
The agency plans a new service in February that will allow individuals to receive correspondence online, and will use the opportunity to improve clarity, Brideau said. Businesses have been offered a similar secure email service since 2013.

“Over the next 18 months, the most common letters and notices that the CRA generates, constituting more than 60 million pieces of correspondence a year, will be available online to Canadians in simplified, easier-to-understand formats,” Brideau said in an email.

Officials also plan to hire a third-party consultant to help rewrite the templates for standard correspondence.

A senior executive at Siegelvision, the New York firm hired by CRA to conduct the review, declined to discuss its work for the agency, but said any organization needs to adopt a “blank slate” approach to communications rather than try to improve them incrementally or piecemeal.

Irene Etzkorn, the company’s chief clarity officer, also said an organization needs a “high-level executive champion to overcome a lot of bureaucratic inertia.”

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BC COURT CONFIRMS: ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES ON CHARGING DOCUMENTS VOID

This is a big deal. The electronic signature process has been used frequently and YOU can challenge your documents if the electronic signatures were used in your case.

That means you have to speak up…complain….raise the issue…will you?

Even law students can go to court with claims and complaints about a process of law and win.You can go to court with claims and complaints and win. It has been done.When properly presented and demonstrated…..

– – – Decision not online yet – send the link if you get it.

Mr. Ferguson challenged the validity of the charging document in the case of his client on the grounds that the time stamps on the electronic signatures showed that the proper oath-swearing procedure had not been followed.

“I argued that the incorrect sequence spoke to the very proof of the oath itself, which is a fundamental safeguard in place to ensure that an individual is free from arbitrary harassment from the State,” Mr. Ferguson explains. “I stated that this defect meant that the document should be declared void.”The trial judge at the BC Provincial Court agreed with him and said the time discrepancy went to the very essence of proof of the oath itself.

The judge also noted concerns regarding the way informations were sworn based on the evidence that came out in cross-examination.

For more info got to:
http://member.suewrongdoers.com/bc-court-confirms-electronic-signatures-on-charging-documents-void/

BC COURT CONFIRMS: ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES ON CHARGING DOCUMENTS VOID

This is a big deal. The electronic signature process has been used frequently and YOU can challenge your documents if the electronic signatures were used in your case.

That means you have to speak up…complain….raise the issue…will you?

Even law students can go to court with claims and complaints about a process of law and win.You can go to court with claims and complaints and win. It has been done.When properly presented and demonstrated…..

– – – Decision not online yet – send the link if you get it.

Mr. Ferguson challenged the validity of the charging document in the case of his client on the grounds that the time stamps on the electronic signatures showed that the proper oath-swearing procedure had not been followed.

“I argued that the incorrect sequence spoke to the very proof of the oath itself, which is a fundamental safeguard in place to ensure that an individual is free from arbitrary harassment from the State,” Mr. Ferguson explains. “I stated that this defect meant that the document should be declared void.”The trial judge at the BC Provincial Court agreed with him and said the time discrepancy went to the very essence of proof of the oath itself.

The judge also noted concerns regarding the way informations were sworn based on the evidence that came out in cross-examination.

For more info got to:
http://member.suewrongdoers.com/bc-court-confirms-electronic-signatures-on-charging-documents-void/