Blackwater Mercenaries Surrender To Authorities; Secret Testimony Deal Made?
The WaPo reports that five Blackwater soldiers of fortune surrendered this morning as Justice released a 35-count indictment against them in the deaths of 14 Iraqis, including "charges of voluntary manslaughter, attempt to commit manslaughter, and using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence." Nice.
Meanwhile, looks like one of the shooters has flipped:
One of the Blackwater guards involved in the shooting deaths of at least 14 Iraqi citizens has agreed to testify against five other guards as part of a secret plea deal negotiated last month but approved and filed last Thursday. In a stunning admission of his own wrongdoing made public today, Jeremy Ridgeway, 35, agreed to plead guilty to one count of manslaughter, attempt to commit murder and aiding and abetting.
In documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Ridgeway acknowledged killing at least one civilian, a female doctor, with "multiple rounds" into a vehicle. Ridgeway, in the document, acknowledged the government evidence would prove he and the others "opened fire with automatic weapons and grenade launchers on unarmed civilians."
He agreed none of the civilians "was an insurgent, and many were shot while inside of civilian vehicles that were attempting to flee."
Ridgeway also admitted one victim was shot in his chest "while standing in the street with his hands up."
Smoking Gun has Ridgeway’s proffer.
I’d like to believe the Obama administration will rid us of these thugs for hire, but Blackwater is like a fat, bloody tick feeding off our military industrial complex. It’s not going to be easy to pull them off.