Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blackwater Again

US Cavalry on Point looks at how the investigation into Blackwater's activities in Iraq is going.

As is usual in this Administration, there is no accountability. No one from State will be quoted “on the record.” No one knows who granted the immunity, or whose idea it was to extend it. Sect. Rice, as usual, had “no comment” on the matter, although it should be noted that Richard Griffith, the head of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, resigned suddenly, and without comment, last week. It is rumored that the immunity came from him, or his office.

Update: ABC News Has Acquired the Terms of Immunity

The security guards were given a limited immunity called "use immunity" in exchange for giving sworn statements about their involvement in the Sept. 16 shooting incident. ...

News of the immunity deal caught State Department officials in Washington off guard. "If anyone gave such immunity it was done so without consulting senior leadership at State," a senior State Department official initially told ABC News.


Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Garrity rights, Garrity rule or Garrity warning is a protection that is utilized by many law enforcement officers each year. Simply, Garrity is an invocation that may be made by an officer being questioned regarding actions that may result in criminal prosecution.

The Garrity rule goes by several different names including the Garrity Right, the Garrity Law, the Garrity Rule, the Garrity Advisement and the Garrity Warning.

By invoking the Garrity rule, the officer is invoking his or her right against self incrimination. Any statements made after invoking Garrity, may only be used for department investigation purposes and not for criminal prosecution purposes. The Garrity Rule stems from the court case Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967), which was decided in 1966 by the United States Supreme Court. It was a traffic ticket fixing case of all things.

Officers were advised that they had to answer questions subjecting them to criminal prosecution or lose their jobs. The Court held that this was Unconstitutional.

Technically, there are two prongs under the Garrity rights. First, if an officer is compelled to answer questions as a condition of employment, the officer's answers and the fruits of those answers may not be used against the officer in a subsequent criminal prosecution. Second, the department becomes limited as to what they may ask. Such questions must be specifically, narrowly, and directly tailored to the officer's job.

Thus, the basic thrust of the Garrity Rights or Garrity Rule is that a department member may be compelled to give statements under threat of discipline or discharge but those statements may not be used in the criminal prosecution of the individual officer. This means that the Garrity Rule only protects a department member from criminal prosecution based upon statements he or she might make under threat of discipline or discharge.

Also, the Garrity Rule is not automatically triggered simply because questioning is taking place. The officer must announce that he or she wants the protections under Garrity. The above statement should be prepared in writing, and the officer should obtain a copy of it. If a written statement is being taken from an officer, the officer should insist that the Garrity Warning actually be typed in the statement. Consult your attorney and union delegate for the laws regarding Garrity in your state before providing any statement.

Below is the actual Garrity Warning:

1. I am being questioned as part of an investigation by this agency into potential violations of department rules and regulations, or for my fitness for duty. This investigation concerns



2. I have invoked my Miranda rights on the grounds that I might incriminate myself in a criminal matter.

3. I have been granted use immunity. No answer given by me, nor evidence derived from the answer, may be used against me in any criminal proceeding, except for perjury or false swearing.

4. I understand that I must now answer questions specifically, directly and narrowly related to the performance of my official duties or my fitness for office.

5. If I refuse to answer, I may be subject to discipline for that refusal which can result in my dismissal from this agency.

6. Anything I say may be used against me in any subsequent department charges.

7. I have the right to consult with a representative of my collective bargaining unit, or another representative of my choice, and have him or her present during the interview.

Assistant Prosecutor/Deputy Attorney General Authorizing: __________________________


Date:_______________ Time:_____________


Witnessed by: ______________________________


These are sometimes referred to as the Garrity rights.


10/30/2007 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

DSS apparently is extending Garrity rights to their contractors.

I speculate that the DSS Chief in Baghdad started his investigation, at least one BW guy is ex-LE and invoked it, the DSS Chief called back to the rear and was advised that BW had Garrity rights and that all of this was done before anybody knew about FBI investigators coming.

DSS guys have standing to invoke Garrity. BW PSD's on the Worldwide Personal Protective Services Program contract essentially ARE DSS guys for most intents and purposes.

10/30/2007 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Bill T from the Castle is not even in the big bad Blackwater outfit but flies and Cobra (with some armor and a laser sight) for some smaller contractor.

If you look at the picture of the front of the bird you can clearly see rotary barrels of a mini-gun (they rapidly fire 7.62mm or cannon shells with HE ammo).

This bird is considerably more potent than a Blackwater guy hanging out of his Hughes tin can with hand held machine gun. I think Bill’s is the 3 barrel version which fires 20mm shells but that is just a guess.

You can click the video link and see some Cobras using those cannons.

I am not sure if Blackwater even has this type of fire power. Nor, am I saying Bill T goes flying around in his chopper shooting people HEI ammo (that’s Bill information).

As for immunity or Garrity, I don’t know. Bill T is in the ‘Stan not Iraq so he may have more latitude.

OT: Bill T served in Vietnam and has some interesting stories Agent Orange mission and follow on gunship mission which resulted in him having the VC put a reward of money and some 200 bicycles to kill him. The story is worth reading.

See Cobra with mini gun

More from Bill T on gunships in action

10/31/2007 04:04:00 AM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

IMO, BW should get a pass simply because (I believe) more of their employees have been KIA than they have killed.

11/01/2007 06:18:00 AM  

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