Trump Pardons Blackwater Four; Omar Blasts Pardon

U.S. President Donald Trump pardoned four Blackwater security contractors who were convicted and serving jail sentences for killing 14 Iraqi civilians, including two children, in Baghdad in 2007. Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Nicholas Slatten were accused of firing machine guns and grenade launchers indiscriminately at Iraqi civilians. The four claimed they were fired upon by insurgents, but the claim was rejected by prosecutors and the jury. One, Slatten, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. Reported by The Guardian. Read more… Trump’s pardon sparked outrage from lawmakers, former prosecutors, and ex-military officials. Some warned the pardon would carry severe consequences, jeopardize the safety of American military personnel, and inflame U.S.-Iraq tensions. Reported by USA Today. Read more… The U.N. Human Rights office said the pardons contribute to “impunity.” Organization spokesperson Marta Hurtado said, “These four individuals were given sentences ranging from 12 years to life imprisonment, including charges of first-degree murder. Pardoning them contributes to impunity and has the effect of emboldening others to commit such crimes in the future.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., also blasted the pardon, saying, “In 2007, four Blackwater contractors opened fire in a crowded intersection in Baghdad, murdering 14 Iraqi civilians. This week, Donald Trump granted them unconditional pardons. This is a disgrace to our country and to the rule of law.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…