We've already seen the reports that prosecutors would have to bend the law to make it fit the case. And the bullet damage to the armored command vehicle of Blackwater's Raven 23 team (click on picture for larger image).
And that, in what looks like a sloppy investigation, prosecutors are resting their case heavily on two discredited sources: The Iraqi Ministry of Interior and National Police, and an ex-Blackwater guard who admitted, in exchange for a lighter sentence, to killing civilians at Nisoor Square.
Now, even two of the company's biggest serious media critics - Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes Jordan of the Associated Press - admit that the government's case looks flimsier and flimsier. Here's what they reported on December 19:
- "Radio logs from a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad cast doubt on U.S. government claims that Blackwater Worldwide security guards were unprovoked when they killed 14 Iraqi civilians."
- "Because Blackwater guards were authorized to fire in self-defense, any evidence their convoy was attacked will make it harder for the Justice Department to prove they acted unlawfully."
- "The logs add a new uncertainty to an already murky case."
- While AP received a secondhand, anonymous report that at least one Blackwater guard "saw no gunfire," "others in the convoy told authorities they did see enemy gunfire. And Blackwater turned over to prosecutors pictures of vehicles pocked with bullet holes, which the company says proves the guards were shot at."
- Prosecutors don't even purport to know who shot whom: "And though they can't say for sure exactly which guards shot which victims, all five guards are charged with 14 counts of manslaughter."
- Federal prosecutors are now on the defensive and won't talk about the issue: "Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd declined to discuss the contents of the logs."