Monday, December 8, 2008

Is Justice Department Advising Iraqis How to Sue Blackwater?

Is a Justice Department bureaucrat in Iraq right now advising Iraqis how they can sue Blackwater?

That's what the New York Times is reporting. In a December 7 story headlined, "US Prosecutor Goes to Iraq to Work on Blackwater Case," the Times says that the Justice Department official will meet with families of those shot in the September 16, 2007 Nisoor Square incident and help them "make claims."

The source is an anonymous Iraqi official. The Times does not identify the US prosecutor.

The place of the meeting looks like someone purposely planned to inflame sentiments. According to the Times, the Justice Department bureaucrat will meet with families at "a large dining center in Iraq’s National Police Headquarters, just a stone’s throw from Nisour Square."

"'The prosecutor is coming on Saturday to tell people what is going to happen, and especially how to make claims,' said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation. “He will speak in front of all of them. The families of the victims deserve to know what comes next.”

If the report is true, the unnamed bureaucrat will put the Justice Department in the awkward position of helping professional terrorist defense lawyers and lawyers for cop-killers, including a lawyer for an identified al Qaeda front group. The lawyers have banded together to sue Blackwater on behalf of Nisoor families.

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