The US President Donald Trump has granted pardon to four American security guards who were involved in massacring 14 Iraqi civilians, including two children, in Baghdad in 2007.
The four convicts were the employees of a private security firm Blackwater and were part of an armored convoy that opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of unarmed people in a square in the Iraqi capital.
They opened fire on the crowd with machine-guns, grenade launchers, and a sniper gun. The convicts were – Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard, and Nicholas Slatten.
The four convicts were facing sentences in multiple charges of manslaughter, murdering civilians, and other war crimes. One of them was sentenced to life while other three were sentenced to 30 years each.
At the sentencing, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement: “The sheer amount of unnecessary human loss and suffering attributable to the defendants’ criminal conduct on 16 September 2007 is staggering.”
The U.S. government said in a memorandum filed after the sentencing: “None of the victims was an insurgent, or posed any threat to the Raven 23 convoy.”
Their excess violation of human rights and using power against civilians were abhorred by several army personnel too.
A retired U.S. army colonel said the massacre was “a grossly excessive use of force” and “grossly inappropriate for an entity whose only job was to provide personal protection to somebody in an armored vehicle.”
He also said the attack had “a negative effect on our mission, [an] adverse effect … It made our relationship with the Iraqis, in general, more strained.”
The 14 victims killed by those cruel Blackwater guards on trial were listed as:
Ahmed Haithem, Ahmed Al Rubia’y, Mahassin Mohssen Kadhum Al-Khazali, Osama Fadhil Abbas, Ali Mohammed Hafedh Abdul Razzaq, Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Qasim Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Sa’adi Ali Abbas Alkarkh, Mushtaq Karim Abd Al-Razzaq, Ghaniyah Hassan Ali, Ibrahim Abid Ayash, Hamoud Sa’eed Abttan, Uday Ismail Ibrahiem, Mahdi Sahib Nasir and Ali Khalil Abdul Hussein.
This one of the several pardons that were granted to the American soldiers for the proven war crimes that they have committed in Iraq and Afghanistan against civilians and commoners.