Families of Blackwater victims furious at Trump’s pardon spree
The Department of Justice claims 14 people were killed but Iraq says it was 17
President Donald Trump’s most recent pardon has a few Iraqi families rightfully upset.
According to NBC, Trump pardoned four men found guilty of killing unarmed civilians in Baghdad’s Nisur Square back in 2007. The victims’ families are heartbroken and say the pardon reduces American rights to mere “slogans.”
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“They prefer animals over humans, and then they talk about human rights, justice, and humanity,” said Hussein Saheb Nasser, from Baghdad on Wednesday to the source. His brother Mahdi Saheb was a taxi driver and one of the victims killed during the attack.
Four former government contractors of the security firm, Blackwater Worldwide, were convicted in federal court back in 2014 regarding the killings. According to prosecutors, the men were unprovoked but attacked by using grenade launchers and machine guns.
The Department of Justice claims 14 people were killed but Iraq says it was 17.
The security firm was founded by Erik Prince, an ally of Trump, who is also the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The President pardoned all four men on Tuesday.
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“How are these criminals released after they killed 17 innocent people?” asked Nasser. “On what basis did Trump depend on to release them? Let us assume that I travel to America and kill 17 American citizens. Are they going to release me?”
Trump has a history of pardoning his allies, as previously reported by theGrio. Mark Osler, a clemency scholar and law professor at the University of St. Thomas’ School of Law, says Trump pardons differently than other presidents.
“Modern presidents have sullied clemency through disuse (both Bushes) and occasional self-serving grants (Clinton),” said Osler to NPR through an email. “However, no president has ever used clemency primarily to reward friends and political allies.”
In February, Trump gave clemency to 11 criminals. All of them were some how connected to the president.
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