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Iraq: Blackwater Massacre - Page 2

post #41 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

I'm done with this thread for now, until e1618978 and southside grabowski can cite links to support their undying loyalty to these mercenaries.

I don't think that "undying loyalty" is accurate, I just believe that the individuals involved are probably not monsters, and that they are innocent until proven guilty. The article you just posted actually has a more incriminating tone than anything I had read previously.

But wait a sec, you continued to post after you were "done with the thread"... 8)
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post #42 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Once upon a time, there was a Prince...

Pretty slick propaganda... my question is... so what? An ex-navy SEAL who never HAD to serve the country decides to start a company after leaving the teams and is successful and then has the AUDACITY to be politically active. The SHAME!

I'm sure you'll cover Soros and Pacific Rim economic war profiteering next, right? I'll be waiting.
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post #43 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I don't think that "undying loyalty" is accurate, I just believe that the individuals involved are probably not monsters, and that they are innocent until proven guilty. The article you just posted actually has a more incriminating tone than anything I had read previously.

But wait a sec, you continued to post after you were "done with the thread"... 8)

What I posted was important to a response you made. If you disregard it you will be on my ignore list.

You seem to be a very intelligent person. Let's see what happens.
post #44 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

What I posted was important to a response you made. If you disregard it you will be on my ignore list.

You seem to be a very intelligent person. Let's see what happens.

It didn't seem to apply to anything I was saying. If US troops fled under fire, and Blackwater troops did not under the same conditions, how does that say anything bad about Blackwater?
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post #45 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

It didn't seem to apply to anything I was saying. If US troops fled under fire, and Blackwater troops did not under the same conditions, how does that say anything bad about Blackwater?

co·nun·drum (k-nndrm) n.
1. A riddle in which a fanciful question is answered by a pun.
2. A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma


Ban on Ground Travel for U.S. Diplomats in Baghdad


Quote:
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad has halted all ground travel for its diplomats following the Iraqi government's decision to temporarily ban the security company Blackwater USA.

The embassy decision, which suspends all land travel by U.S. diplomats and other civilian officials outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, comes amid growing Iraqi outrage with Blackwater. The security company was involved in a shootout on Sunday in which Iraqi officials now say at least 20 civilians were killed...

Details of the weekend shootings haven't been released, but The New York Times reported late Tuesday that a preliminary review by Iraq's Ministry of Interior found that violence erupted as Blackwater security guards fired at a car when it did not heed a policeman's call to stop, killing a couple and their infant. The report said that Blackwater helicopters had also fired.


The Iraqi Ministry of Defense said that 20 Iraqis were killed, higher than the 11 dead reported earlier.


The newspaper said the report was presented to the Iraqi Cabinet and, though unverified, seemed to contradict an account offered by Blackwater that the guards were responding to militants who had opened fire on State Department personnel. Iraqi police have said a car bomb exploded near a State Department convoy and that Blackwater guards began shooting.

Iraq: The mess continues.
post #46 of 228
Thread Starter 
Looks like Blackwater are back in business.

So much for respecting Iraqi sovereignty!

Even though they were found 100% guilty by an interior ministry report!

Quote:
The interior ministry report, based on testimony from witnesses, concluded that Blackwater guards in Baghdad's Nisour Square started shooting after two mortar rounds landed nearby.

"They started shooting randomly from four positions in the square, killing 11 civilians and injuring 12 other," said interior ministry spokesman Maj Gen Abdul-Karim Khalaf.

"The first one who was killed was a driver who failed to stop and then his wife," Maj Gen Khalaf said.

The report also calls for the lifting of legal immunity for foreign security companies operating in Iraq.
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post #47 of 228
The FBI defines terrorism as follows:

Quote:
The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Blackwater's activities map onto this definition as much as those of al Qaeda, or Hamas, etc. They should be classified by the international community as a terrorist organization, that is, if the international community had any collective balls and integrity... which (as of yet) is not in evidence.

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post #48 of 228
That would create an interesting problem:

GW (King George): From this day... any nation that supports terrorists will be regarded as a hostile nation... (or something like that).


The US would have to declare itself a hostile nation!!! I wonder if Texas would secede?

 

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post #49 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

The FBI defines terrorism as follows:


Blackwater's activities map onto this definition as much as those of al Qaeda, or Hamas, etc. They should be classified by the international community as a terrorist organization, that is, if the international community had any collective balls and integrity... which (as of yet) is not in evidence.


Give me a break. They are civilian security forces and they will and should defend themselves when attacked.
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post #50 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

Give me a break. They are civilian security forces and they will and should defend themselves when attacked.

Wow. A lot of "hard guys" being all balls-out in supporting a group of mercenaries, great.
post #51 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

If you don't know, you should not be speaking with such "authority" in this thread.

I have never pretended to speak on "authority" in this forum, unlike many who post here. I mearly post my opinion. I have no knowledge of the history of Blackwater and honestly care little, I was only talking about the symbolism of the skull and cross bones that they flaunted, and my opinion of what that message conveyed to the people of the region.
post #52 of 228
Feds target Blackwater in weapons probe

Quote:
WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh, N.C., is handling the investigation with help from Pentagon and State Department auditors, who have concluded there is enough evidence to file charges, the officials told The Associated Press. Blackwater is based in Moyock, N.C.
post #53 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

Give me a break. They are civilian security forces and they will and should defend themselves when attacked.

It looks like they might not have been attacked (or at least that they fired first, unprovoked):

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070923/...jU6MCmay2s0NUE

Oops. Somebody is lying.

...and Blackwater has the support of Teh Administration, Inc.

 

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post #54 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

Pretty slick propaganda... my question is... so what? An ex-navy SEAL who never HAD to serve the country decides to start a company after leaving the teams and is successful and then has the AUDACITY to be politically active. The SHAME!

I'm sure you'll cover Soros and Pacific Rim economic war profiteering next, right? I'll be waiting.

Man. I hope that "standard" applies to everyone across the political spectrum. Somehow I'm sure it won't.
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post #55 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northgate View Post

Man. I hope that "standard" applies to everyone across the political spectrum. Somehow I'm sure it won't.

It does... thanks.
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post #56 of 228
Thread Starter 
Uh-oh.....now it looks like Blackwater have been involved in smuggling illegal weapons.

These weapon would have been for the use of the terrorist group the PKK - but it's ok, these are good terrorists (ie not Iranian or Syrian fighters).

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post #57 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Uh-oh.....now it looks like Blackwater have been involved in smuggling illegal weapons.

These weapon would have been for the use of the terrorist group the PKK - but it's ok, these are good terrorists (ie not Iranian or Syrian fighters).


may have been involved. If proven true, people who knew will be brought to justice. You can be sure of that.

And since when was the term "terrorist" OK in the lexicon... I thought these were "people of differing opinions using legitimate means" or "the justified resistors of occupation." Terrorists? I didn't know there were any terrorists outside the US and Israeli army?
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post #58 of 228
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

may have been involved. If proven true, people who knew will be brought to justice. You can be sure of that.

And since when was the term "terrorist" OK in the lexicon... I thought these were "people of differing opinions using legitimate means" or "the justified resistors of occupation." Terrorists? I didn't know there were any terrorists outside the US and Israeli army?

Actually I have quite a bit of sympathy with the PKKs cause - particularly the genocidal pogrom waged against them for decades by the Turks - and do not regard them as terrorists.

I was using the term in the sense of 'people who are on the US's terrorist list'.

Btw, as an aside this is another area where things will blow back in Bush's face; the US opposes the PKK and supports the Turks who oppress the Kurds.

But they also covertly arm and support the PKK (that is a fact btw - the only question re this latest Blackwater scandal is whether they were smuggling arms this time and if they were then WHO they were destined for) - I know it's called divide and rule but it's not a game Bush has the skill to play...it WILL implode, question is merely when and how.
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post #59 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

may have been involved. If proven true, people who knew will be brought to justice. You can be sure of that.

By whom? The same people who told us that there were WMDs in Iraq? The US government has hired these people and made a law that prevents them from being held accountable to Iraqi law (despite the fact that they happen to work in Iraq, which is now a sovereign country), and I would be wary of any smuggling (if it occurred) and would not believe it to be limited to a few individuals.

There will be a few fall guys, of course, but the arms will continue to flow and those ultimately responsible won't be touched.

 

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post #60 of 228
post #61 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

"'cause that's how i work"

God help the world if this guy is in the WH.

 

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post #62 of 228
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

"'cause that's how i work"

Perhaps one of the most chilling videos I've yet to see.......the horror in the understated implications is verging on the incomprehensible....
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post #63 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

There will be a few fall guys, of course, but the arms will continue to flow and those ultimately responsible won't be touched.

How can we get you "satisfaction" in this episode? What specifically do you want done?
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post #64 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

it WILL implode, question is merely when and how.

Seems that in our history we have quite a record of getting into untenable situations where logic necessarily fails. The Wahabi/Saudi problem, and it appears the PKK, are just two.
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post #65 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

may have been involved. If proven true, people who knew will be brought to justice. You can be sure of that.

Oh my god can't breathe tears running down my face.

Phew. That was a good one.
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post #66 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northgate View Post

That was a good one.

I'll ask you the same question. What will get you satisfaction? Having all of Blackwater drawn and quartered in public? Tar and feathering? Lifetime imprisonment for all Blackwater operators? Just say the word- what will make you happy?

You should have more faith in your own efforts... you can see your perceived justice done if enough people see the world your way. Apparently, according to so many of you, at least 60-70% of the country is upset about Iraq- it should be no problem to bring those responsible to justice.

Would a congressional investigation make you happy? No matter what it found, you'd claim a cover-up. So please, how do you think this should be disposed of... please tell us with clear, specific, not rhetorical steps that even Dubya can follow. Do you have a plan to deal with this, or do you just want the issue?

I think I know, but I'll wait for *someone* to put together an answer.
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post #67 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

Would a congressional investigation make you happy? No matter what it found, you'd claim a cover-up. So please, how do you think this should be disposed of... please tell us with clear, specific, not rhetorical steps that even Dubya can follow. Do you have a plan to deal with this, or do you just want the issue?

I think I know, but I'll wait for *someone* to put together an answer.

Yes, an investigation. Yes for justice. Though I won't expect much. There has to be some action involved whether the outcome is good or bad. If we ignore the crimes then they'll just continue and get worse.

Again, this administration thought this was another bright idea to hire contractors to do the military's job. Chalk up another for the never ending list of failures.
post #68 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

I'll ask you the same question. What will get you satisfaction? Having all of Blackwater drawn and quartered in public? Tar and feathering? Lifetime imprisonment for all Blackwater operators? Just say the word- what will make you happy?

You should have more faith in your own efforts... you can see your perceived justice done if enough people see the world your way. Apparently, according to so many of you, at least 60-70% of the country is upset about Iraq- it should be no problem to bring those responsible to justice.

Would a congressional investigation make you happy? No matter what it found, you'd claim a cover-up. So please, how do you think this should be disposed of... please tell us with clear, specific, not rhetorical steps that even Dubya can follow. Do you have a plan to deal with this, or do you just want the issue?

I think I know, but I'll wait for *someone* to put together an answer.

Just good old plain accountability. That's all I want.

Which is actually a pretty conservative sensibility.
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post #69 of 228
Thread Starter 
BlackwaterGate just won't go away (not till it gets swept under the carpet anyway). Now a Military Officila is claiming it could be Worse Than Abu Ghraib.

And meanwhile - despite the 'guarantee' earlier in this post that the perps will be 'brought to justice', Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has ordered Blackwater not to answer any questions from lawmakers.

Quote:
The State Department has interceded in a congressional investigation of Blackwater USA, the private security firm accused of killing Iraqi civilians last week, ordering the company not to disclose information about its Iraq operations without approval from the Bush administration, according to documents revealed Tuesday.

In a letter sent to a senior Blackwater executive Thursday, a State Department contracting official ordered the company "to make no disclosure of the documents or information" about its work in Iraq without permission.

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post #70 of 228
Suppose the contract with Blackwater USA would include provisions that call for them to report any use of force incidents in a very tight timeframe and in detail, and that result in a very heavy fine to be immediately subtracted from payments to Blackwater for every individual unreported incident that comes out.

You could apply this to civilian casualties as well.

This makes sense on a conceptual level because Blackwater is in addition to their concrete duties doing PR of sorts on behalf of their customer, the military. If they piss off the local populace, the customer gets worse value for its money. If they don't report the incidents they get in, the customer has no oversight and must assume the worst, again worse value.

This would give the military at least one practical reason to research incidents thoroughly.

If they're concerned about propaganda angle, and of course they are, they wouldn't even need to publish any details or press criminal charges. Just the threat of monetary impact could change how Blackwater et al. conducts themselves in Iraq.

Comments?
post #71 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

This makes sense on a conceptual level because Blackwater is in addition to their concrete duties doing PR of sorts on behalf of their customer, the military.

First of all, their "customers" aren't the military, it's their stockholders. Blackwater is a business. Their purpose is to make a profit. They do so by offering a service. Like any business, the first loyalty of the management and owners (stockholders) is to the company, not to the company's clients, which in this case are agencies within the U.S. government. Of course, Blackwater knows that their bottom line depends on serving the needs of their customers, but that's different in a not-so-subtle way to the loyalties that the members of our Armed Forces have towards our country.

And the U.S. government's response?

Blackwater Inquiry Blocked by State Dept., Official Says

Quote:
The Democratic chairman of a House committee complained Tuesday that the State Department was blocking his panels efforts to investigate the private security firm Blackwater USA and its operations in Iraq.

The department described the situation as a misunderstanding.

In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote that the State Department had prevented Blackwater from cooperating.

Blackwater has informed the committee that a State Department official directed Blackwater not to provide documents relevant to the committees investigation into the companys activities in Iraq without the prior written approval of the State Department, Mr. Waxmans letter stated. The letter was made available to the news media on Tuesday.

As stated in the Constitution, the Congress has the power of oversight and should be held responsible for investigating situations such as this. The fact Congress is being prevented from doing so by the Executive branch is denying the very thing that the supporters of the Iraq war are so intent on instituting in Iraq: DEMOCRACY.

How many times do I have to use failure until somebody realizes it's true?
post #72 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

BlackwaterGate just won't go away (not till it gets swept under the carpet anyway). Now a Military Officila is claiming it could be Worse Than Abu Ghraib.

And meanwhile - despite the 'guarantee' earlier in this post that the perps will be 'brought to justice', Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has ordered Blackwater not to answer any questions from lawmakers.

Secrecy always invites suspicion, and for obvious reasons. The purpose of cagey, shifty or 'no comment' type 'responses' from officials is far more often to prevent disclosure of illegal activities, or conduct that would be damaging to political careers, left, right or center. The need for secrecy due to bona fide "national security" concerns run a very very long way behind. This is default with any government, in any part of the world. The United States made the right step some years ago by passing the Freedom of Information Act, but the conduct of the current administration as regards secrecy by default is quite breathtaking. I cannot see the FOIA lasting much longer, especially in its original intent and format.
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post #73 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

First of all, their "customers" aren't the military, it's their stockholders. Blackwater is a business.

Actually, stockholders and customers are two different groups. I am both an Apple stockholder and customer. I am a customer of GM but not a stockholder. Operators are responsible to their owners, who are in turn responsible to those that hired the company, in this case the US Military and State Dept.
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post #74 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

I cannot see the FOIA lasting much longer, especially in its original intent and format.

You're right about that!
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post #75 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

Actually, stockholders and customers are two different groups. I am both an Apple stockholder and customer. I am a customer of GM but not a stockholder. Operators are responsible to their owners, who are in turn responsible to those that hired the company, in this case the US Military and State Dept.

Good point. So if I own a GM car I am a customer. Blackwater's customers are the people they protect. That would be...businessmen, diplomats, truck drivers and politicians. Not the Iraqi people. That's the U.S. Military's job. \...
post #76 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Good point. So if I own a GM car I am a customer. Blackwater's customers are the people they protect. That would be...businessmen, diplomats, truck drivers and politicians. Not the Iraqi people. That's the U.S. Military's job. \...

Well.. it depends on the circumstance, but on general principle, I'd say that is correct... Iraqi civilians are probably at the bottom of the tangential protection list. In many cases, the insurgency within the Iraqi people is the enemy... making for situations like these.
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post #77 of 228
Quote:
Umm....don't tell me,...I got it, is the answer "start blasting away at un-armed civilians"?


Maybe. I wouldn't know until I was there. Can you really know, until you're there and put to the test? Honestly?

One thing is certain, it IS a Wild West. It's a shit storm. People love to say there are no good options but I think often these are politicians that don't really know what that means. It means death. Death and worse. It's grim. I think a draft may eventually happen again in the US. At least it's a possibility.
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post #78 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northgate View Post

Just good old plain accountability. That's all I want.

Which is actually a pretty conservative sensibility.

Exactly, lack of accountability is the entire problem with how the US is now using mercenaries.

When soldiers are accused of atrocities, the situation can be investigated and dealt with in compliance with military law and international treaties. "Civilian contractors" (mercenaries) have no such checks and balances according to the US government. Our government is using "civilian contractors" partly for economic reasons but also to side-step all kinds of international conventions on the conduct of soldiers in a war zone.

Checks and balances have been removed and this war is being partially waged by mercenaries with zero accountability.
post #79 of 228
Blackwater Tops All Firms in Iraq in Shooting Rate

Quote:
The American security contractor Blackwater USA has been involved in a far higher rate of shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq than other security firms providing similar services to the State Department, according to Bush administration officials and industry officials.

Blackwater is now the focus of investigations in both Baghdad and Washington over a Sept. 16 shooting in which at least 11 Iraqis were killed. Beyond that episode, the company has been involved in cases in which its personnel fired weapons while guarding State Department officials in Iraq at least twice as often per convoy mission as security guards working for other American security firms, the officials said.

The disclosure came as the Pentagon said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had sent a team of officials to Iraq to get answers to questions about the use of American security contractors there.

The State Department keeps reports on each case in which weapons were fired by security personnel guarding American diplomats in Iraq. Officials familiar with the internal State Department reports would not provide the actual statistics, but they indicated that the records showed that Blackwater personnel were involved in dozens of episodes in which they had resorted to force.

The officials said that Blackwaters incident rate was at least twice that recorded by employees of DynCorp International and Triple Canopy, the two other United States-based security firms that have been contracted by the State Department to provide security for diplomats and other senior civilians in Iraq.

The State Department would not comment on most matters relating to Blackwater, citing the current investigation. But Sean McCormack, the departments spokesman, said that of 1,800 escort missions by Blackwater this year, there had been only a very small fraction, very small fraction, that have involved any sort of use of force.

In 2005, DynCorp reported 32 shootings during about 3,200 convoy missions, and in 2006 that company reported 10 episodes during about 1,500 convoy missions. While comparable Blackwater statistics were not available, government officials said the firms rate per convoy mission was about twice DynCorps.

The State Departments incident reports have not been made public, and Blackwater refused to provide its own data on cases in which its personnel used their weapons while guarding American diplomats. The State Department is in the process of providing at least some of the data to Congress. The administration and industry officials who agreed to discuss the broad rate of Blackwaters involvement in violent events would not disclose the specific numbers.

The incident rate for Blackwater is higher, there is a distinction, said a senior American government official who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss a delicate, continuing investigation. The real question that is open for discussion is why.

A Blackwater spokeswoman declined to comment.
post #80 of 228
Quote:

Mmmkay... let's see here... "shooting rate."

First we control for the value of the target guarded, divided by the coefficient of risk for geographical areas in which BWUSA operates, times the number of insurgents in those areas...

"shooting rate" ?

Only the NYT could try to pass off a concept like this- a "shooting rate" As if all assignments, areas, and enemies are equal. Blackwater gets tough assignments with high profile people- it no surprise that they have a higher "shooting rate" in defending those high value targets.

Typical Made-for-Murtha soundbite.

Blackwater needs to follow the rules of engagement, be punished civilly and criminally if they do not. No problem there. But to cook up some dumbfucked "shooting rate" bullshit as if it really *means* something is textbook yellow New York Times.
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