Opinion | Horrified by the Blackwater Pardons

The F.B.I. agent who led the Blackwater investigation and two other letter writers are appalled by the pardon of men who killed innocent civilians.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/01/opinion/letters/blackwater-pardons.html
I was the F.B.I. case agent who led the investigation of the Blackwater massacre in Baghdad. We originally went to Iraq thinking this shooting was some form of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire between Blackwater guards and insurgents. After only one week, we determined that this incident was not as presented by Blackwater personnel and their State Department lackeys, but it was a massacre along the lines of My Lai in Vietnam. Three of the guards were convicted of manslaughter and one of murder.

Inside the Iraqi Kleptocracy

Corruption, as much as violence, makes Iraq unlivable. It helped fuel the rise of ISIS. And America provides the cash to sustain it, at least $10 billion a year in hard currency.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/magazine/iraq-corruption.html
Early last October, while working in his office in Baghdad, a businessman named Hussein Laqees got a phone call from a number he’d never seen before. “We need to talk,” the caller said. The man’s voice was gruff and self-assured, a little menacing. He demanded that Laqees come meet him but refused to give his name.