Blackwater wages war on families

This is pretty despicable. This country is in deep shit if this move is allowed to stand.

The following article is by the lawyers representing the families of four American contractors who worked for Blackwater and were killed in Fallujah. After Blackwater refused to share information about why they were killed, the families were told they would have to sue Blackwater to find out. Now Blackwater is trying to sue them for $10 million to keep them quiet.

Raleigh, NC — The families of four American security contractors who were burned, beaten, dragged through the streets of Fallujah and their decapitated bodies hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River on March 31, 2004, are reaching out to the American public to help protect themselves against the very company their loved ones were serving when killed, Blackwater Security Consulting. After Blackwater lost a series of appeals all the away to the U.S. Supreme Court, Blackwater has now changed its tactics and is suing the dead men’s estates for $10 million to silence the families and keep them out of court.

Following these gruesome deaths which were broadcast on worldwide television, the surviving family members looked to Blackwater for answers as to how and why their loved ones died. Blackwater not only refused to give the grieving families any information, but also callously stated that they would need to sue Blackwater to get it. Left with no alternative, in January 2005, the families filed suit against Blackwater, which is owned by the wealthy and politically-connected Erik Prince.

Blackwater quickly adapted its battlefield tactics to the courtroom. It initially hired Fred F. Fielding, who is currently counsel to the President of the United States. It then hired Joseph E. Schmitz as its in-house counsel, who was formerly the Inspector General at the Pentagon. More recently, Blackwater employed Kenneth Starr, famed prosecutor in the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal, to oppose the families. To add additional muscle, Blackwater hired Cofer Black, who was the Director of the CIA Counter- Terrorist Center.

After filing its suit against the dead men’s estates, Blackwater demanded that its claim and the families’ existing lawsuit be handled in a private arbitration. By suing the families in arbitration, Blackwater has attempted to move the examination of their wrongful conduct outside of the eye of the public and away from a jury. This comes at the same time when Congress is investigating Blackwater.

full story here: http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/53460/

Advertisements

8 responses to “Blackwater wages war on families

  • lsaboe

    Re: Bloodsucking Lawyers
    that’s mercenaries to you, bud. and yeah, lets.

    Like

  • dan_ad_nauseam

    Does anyone know what claims Blackwater is asserting other than and whether North Carolina has an anti-SLAPP law?

    Like

    • lsaboe

      dunno what they are asserting except for what was in the article. when i looked up anti-SLAPP + North Carolina i found that they don’t have it there, but it looks like some people are trying to garner support for it.
      i don’t know much about how any of this would work. would you be willing to educate me?

      Like

      • Anonymous

        Bloodsucking Lawyers
        This story is outrageous, and everyone’s heart goes out to the families. But Callahan and Miles (the guys who wrote the story) are trying to take you to the cleaners. These guys are California personal injury lawyers who took the case on a contingency–the families aren’t paying lawyer bills! Even if they were, it says right in the fine print of this story (and in the court documents themselves) that the claims are against the lawyer running the estates and against the estates–the families aren’t even parties to the case!! These are mega-rich lawyers, who brag on their website about one case alone where they won almost a BILLION dollars (http://www.callahan-law.com/victories.php?select=26). They are just trying to get you to give them money out of sympathy for the poor families and/or hatred of Bush and his cronies. Here’s what I propose: If you check out the facts (not blogs!) on this and you believe the families are paying lawyer bills, donate your heart out. BUT, if you see that these two yayhoos are just trying to line their pockets and get MORE rich off your nickel, do this: make a donation so the families know you support ’em, but make it only a penny. Enough one cent donations, and these ambulance chasers will get the message that they are no better than Blackwater.

        Like

      • dan_ad_nauseam

        Re: Bloodsucking Lawyers
        Speaking as a lawyer, I think the anonymous poster misses the point. Contingency clients are generally required to pay the expenses of litigation, and it’s very hard to get loans to cover living expenses until the case ends.
        As for claims against a lawyer, that’s considered an extraordinarily hardball tactic. Unless the litigant has good evidence that the lawyer was involved in wrongdoing or is bringing a completely frivolous claim, it’s usually not done.
        The anti-SLAPP issue addresses the tendency that some litigants have started suing their critics on what would be considered very flimsy grounds in an attempt to deter them from making public statements. Anti-SLAPP laws are designed to identify and eliminate these suits by allowing early dismissals and awarding attorney fees or other sanctions.

        Like

      • lsaboe

        Re: Bloodsucking Lawyers
        so, since NC doesn’t have anti-SLAPP laws in place, Blackwater can get away with this law suit? as Julie says, “…we need a bigger handbasket.”

        Like

      • lsaboe

        Re: Bloodsucking Lawyers
        i’m more concerned about what Blackwater is doing to these families and what direction our country is going when it deals with and relies on paramilitary organizations.

        Like

  • be_ansidhe

    It took me awhile.
    I had to read this over and over again before I could even begin to frame a comment, and I still have no clue as to what to say to it, except…I canNOT conceive any rational, ethic grounds that this company could possibly find for entering suit against these families. I know that people are fined every day for frivolous lawsuits, and Blackwater’s suit against its dead employees’ families is not only frivolous, it is disgusting, it is unethical, and it is the act of a ratbastard, you should pardon my being painfully blunt. This isn’t a miscarriage of justice, it is a blatant abortion of it…without anesthesia, without the consent of the mother, and after the 16 week mark.
    I am sickened.

    Like

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: