Blackwater/Xe Sued For War Crimes

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Blackwater has lost its Iraq contract, but the firm continues to be dogged by scandal stemming from its five-year run protecting diplomats in the country. You might remember the story of how Blackwater operator Andrew Moonen allegedly shot and killed the Iraqi vice president’s bodyguard in the Green Zone in December 2006 after drunkenly stumbling away from a Christmas party with a loaded Glock at his side. The incident was just one in a string of questionable shootings that ultimately led the State Department to cancel Blackwater’s contracts earlier this year, though that may have done little more than compel Blackwater’s shooters to change teams.

But the Moonen shooting, despite Blackwater’s alleged attempts to cover it up, is back in the news. The wife and two orphaned children of Raheem Khalaf Sa’adoon, the slain Iraqi guard, have filed suit against Erik Prince and Blackwater/Xe in Alexandria’s District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The written complaint (PDF) charges Prince and his web of companies with war crimes; assault and battery; wrongful death; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent inflication of emotional distress; negligent hiring, training, and supervision; and tortious spoilation of evidence. They demand compensation for the Sa’adoon’s death, as well as an unspecified punitive award “in an amount sufficient to strip Defendants of all of the revenue and profits earned from their pattern of constant misconduct and callous disregard for human life.”

According to the complaint, Moonen now works as a prison guard at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, Washington. His attorney, Stewart Riley, told the Seattle Post that Moonen’s defense will be that “he was shot at in the Green Zone and he ran for his life.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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