Imagine you join the Marines or Army right out of high school to serve your country. Soon after Boot Camp you’re sent to the other side of the world, to war-torn Iraq. You manage to stay alive and after four years you leave the service with an honorable discharge. You get a job with a private security company who protects United States diplomats overseas. Your assignment has you back in a place you hoped you would never see again, Iraq. Your convoy comes under attack, bullets from AK-47s are whistling past your head.
In this hell zone, it’s either kill or be killed, and you’ve chosen to try to stay alive.
You recall how the last time here; you were told that this is nothing like conventional wars in the past. Here, most often you cannot distinguish between friend and foe. Some civilians apparently die in the crossfire and you soon find yourself in an American prison, prosecuted by your own government.
Four young soldiers all volunteered to serve their country in the early 2000’s. Nicholas Slatten (Sparta, TN) served four years in the U.S. Army (Sergeant), Dustin Heard (Maryville, TN) served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps (Corporal), Evan Liberty (Rochester, NH) served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps (Sergeant), Paul Slough (Sanger, TX) served four years in the U.S. Army and National Guard (Sergeant). All four received an honorable discharge around the same time.
During the war in Iraq, a company by the name of Blackwater was one of several private security companies used to guard officials, security guards, and military installations, as well as help train Iraqi police. They would also quite often provide support for Armed Forces. Blackwater was founded in 1997 by Erik Prince, an ex-Navy Seal. They were contracted by the United States government to provide a variety of services, in the U.S. as well. Such as providing a rescue team and helicopter free of charge to assist during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. During this event, they also moved employees who were already under federal contract into the area to protect government buildings.
In the spring of 2006, Blackwater was one of three companies awarded a contract to provide diplomatic security in Iraq. On the fateful day of September 16, 2007, a group of Blackwater contractors, code named Raven 23, and guarding a State Department employee in Baghdad, found themselves in a firefight.
Nick Slatten, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty and Paul Slough will be forever connected to what became known as the Nisour Square Massacre. The Obama administration was only too happy to allow that name to stay as a description of what happened. There are two very conflicting stories of what happened that day, but very quickly our own government sided with Iraqi officials.
According to the Blackwater contractors (veterans), insurgents detonated a car bomb nearby. The team created a checkpoint in Nisour Square. Suddenly a vehicle appeared driving toward their convoy. They fired warning shots which was protocol in this environment. Since our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m sure you like me, have heard many stories early on in this war about vehicles charging very fast toward our soldiers. We lost many by allowing these explosive laden vehicles to get too close before shooting the driver. The result, dead or maimed American soldiers.
These veterans knew what to expect and with no result of slowing down after the warning shots, they opened fire on the vehicle. Suddenly, Iraqi police were firing at the contractors. Early on, it also wasn’t unusual for the insurgents to don Iraqi police uniforms and kill American soldiers. The battle ensued until reinforcements joined the fight.
According to Iraqi officials, the Blackwater security services shot at Iraqi civilians, killing 17 and injuring 20. An important point to remember here, is that the insurgents would most often dress the same as civilians as well.
Placing yourself in the shoes of one of these four men, would you shoot, or would you wait? What were they supposed to do, go introduce themselves and ask for proof that they were civilians? Iraqi officials were outraged and expressed this outrage to newly elected President Obama. The same President Obama who was doing his tour of the world apologizing for all the terrible things that America had done throughout history. It should come as no surprise that a bogus investigation was performed by the Department of Justice, and the demand by Obama to do so. VP Joe Biden was publicly grandstanding with the Iraqi President to show U.S. impartiality.
These guys didn’t stand a chance. The case was dismissed more than once for lack of evidence along with Constitutional rights violations by federal prosecutors.
Sadly, the Obama administration appealed every decision until they got what they wanted; four American veterans nailed to the wall. To Obama, following facts and saving your own was far less important than passing up an opportunity to give America another black eye. After spending years in jail, the final verdict came in 2014, three of these men were charged with manslaughter and firearms charges, and one charged with murder.
All four men are still in prison as of this writing. Three with 12-15-year sentences, and one, Nick Slatten, serving a life sentence. Why? All because the Obama Administration and his top political hacks, ex-VP Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were looking for anything that would reflect poorly on America. Much of Obama’s two terms were time spent proving to the world just how bad America is. They were then, and still are, part of the Progressive movement which is fixated on destroying this country, piece by piece. Please help free the men from Raven 23 from the injustice done to them by Obama and Biden.
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Image: Full Measure