The five former Raven 23 team members of the Blackwater security convoy involved at Nisoor Square all plead before a federal judge that they are not guilty for having committed crimes.
The government has no idea who shot whom, but is nevertheless charging the five with "14 counts of manslaughter, 20 counts of attempted manslaughter," and - for good measure - a special charge of using a firearm in the commission of a crime.
"We want to make it clear to everyone these men committed no crime. They were defending themselves on a battlefield in a war zone when this occurred," said their defense lawyer, David Schertler, in comments covered by CNN.
Federal prosecutors wanted to ram the oddly prepared case through the courts as fast as possible, but the defense says it needs as much time to prepare to address the charges as the government took to make them.
"The United States government had a year and a half to investigate the case, and we did not. So we need a year to catch up," the defense says, according to CNN.