Biden: US Will Appeal Blackwater Dismissal

Vice president expresses his 'personal regret' for the case's outcome
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2010 1:35 PM CST
Sahib Nasir holds a picture of his son, Mehdi Sahib, who was killed in 2007 by Blackwater security guards.   (Hadi Mizban)
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(Newser) – Joe Biden said today the US will appeal a court decision dismissing manslaughter charges against five Blackwater guards involved in a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting. Biden expressed his "personal regret" for the shooting and said the Obama administration was disappointed by the dismissal. "A dismissal is not an acquittal," he said.

Biden's announcement after a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Blackwater security contractors were guarding US diplomats when the guards opened fire in Nisoor Square, a crowded Baghdad intersection, on Sept. 16, 2007. Seventeen people were killed. The case against the contractors fell apart when a federal trial judge ruled that the Justice Department mishandled evidence and violated the guards' constitutional rights.

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