Most federal charges against former Blackwater employees dropped in firearms violations case
RALEIGH, N.C. – The federal prosecution of five former employees of the private security firm Blackwater has collapsed after the defendants said they were acting at the direction of the CIA by providing five automatic rifles as gifts to King Abdullah of Jordan.
Federal prosecutors had indicted former Blackwater president Gary Jackson and four others on a long list of felony firearms violations in 2010. But charges against three of them were dropped Thursday.Oh, that evil Blackwater. Illegally giving machine guns to foreign governments. Who do they think they are, the ATF? OWAIT...
The government's case crumbled after defense lawyers produced two retired CIA officials who said they knew about the weapons presented to Abdullah during a visit to Blackwater's compound in Moyok, N.C.Oopsie. Wonder what happened to make the CIA guys roll over on the Feds?
What's hard, for me, is deciding which is worse here. There are two possibilities for the prosecution of Blackwater:
1. The government is malicious, and had the CIA ask them to break Federal laws as well as possibly ITAR regulations so that they could prosecute one of the most successful private security firms in the country;
2. The government is so incredibly inept that they asked Blackwater to transfer the firearms, forgot they asked them to do so, and then prosecuted them for it.
I can't tell which happened. The fact that CIA employees were willing to testify that they told Blackwater to do this lends credence to #2 - the cloak-and-dagger guys generally aren't the type to roll over for the government on principle, plus they'd have a vested interest in staying on the FedGov's good side, else the particulars of their career might happen to fall into the wrong hands.
Because, a government evil enough to set up Blackwater for doing something the CIA compelled them to do is evil enough to "disappear" a former spook blowing a whistle...
That is all.
UPDATE: OOPS. Blackwater != BLACKHAWK. Good catch.