Thursday, October 4, 2007

Investor's Business Daily says Blackwater should receive the Medal of Freedom

Rather than be defamed as mercenaries and castigated for doing their job, the security people of Blackwater USA should receive the nation's highest award for exceptional meritorious service.

That's what Investor's Business Daily says in an October 4 editorial.

"Blackwater employees put their lives on the line every day protecting the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and diplomatic personnel in Iraq. They operate, just as U.S. troops do, in an environment where those who would kill them do not obey the rules of war or the Geneva Convention.

"Amid the fog of war they have performed magnificently, freeing up U.S. troops to go after al-Qaida in Iraq. The astounding success of the surge is due in no small part to the private security for U.S. diplomats that Blackwater provides so that U.S. Marines are free to do their job of sending al-Qaida members to their just reward.

"Blackwater has come under fire for a Sept. 16 incident in which Blackwater guards escorting a diplomatic convoy in Baghdad were involved in a shootout in which 11 Iraqis were killed. In war, tragic errors can be made. It is unclear what really happened, but Democrats clearly want a sentence first and a trial later.

"Like the Marines at Haditha, several of whom have been exonerated since Democratic Rep. John Murtha accused them of killing innocent civilians in cold blood, the Blackwater guards were doing their job and following the rules of engagement. They were responding to a perceived threat with overwhelming force.

"The Democrats — who think the Haditha Marines are cold-blooded killers; that Abu Ghraib was, as Sen. Ted Kennedy put it, just Saddam's torture chamber 'under new management,' and that Guantanamo, in the infamous words of Sen. Dick Durbin, was akin to the Soviet gulag or Pol Pot's killing fields — are trying to paint Blackwater as a group of ruthless mercenaries, hired guns on a rampage. . . .

"They want people we send into a war zone with guns to protect U.S. diplomats to be subject to criminal prosecution for doing the job we have tasked them to do."

Investor's Business Daily editors conclude about Blackwater's security people, "Instead of threatening them with criminal prosecution, we should be giving them all the Medal of Freedom."

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