""The necessary measures will be taken that will preserve the honor of the Iraqi people," he said in New York, where al-Maliki arrived Friday for the U.N. General Assembly session. "We have ongoing high-level meetings with the U.S. side about this issue."
Al-Maliki is expected to raise the issue with Bush during a meeting Monday in New York.
It is doubtful that foreign security contractors could be prosecuted under Iraqi law. A directive issued by U.S. occupation authorities in 2004 granted contractors, U.S. troops and many other foreign officials immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law.
Security contractors are also not subject to U.S. military law under which U.S. troopers face prosecution for killing or abusing Iraqis.
Iraqi officials have said in the wake of the Nisoor Square shooting that they will press for amendments to the 2004 directive.
A senior aide to al-Maliki said Friday that three of the Blackwater guards were Iraqis and could be subject to prosecution. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
Shortly after the Sept. 16 shooting, U.S. officials said they "understood" that there was videotape, but refused to give more details. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release information to the media.
Following the Nisoor Square shooting, the Interior Ministry banned Blackwater from operating in Iraq but rolled back after the U.S. agreed to a joint investigation. The company resumed guarding a reduced number of U.S. convoys on Friday.
The al-Maliki aide said Friday that the Iraqis were pushing for an apology, compensation for victims or their families and for the guards involved in the shooting to be held "accountable."
Hadi al-Amri, a prominent Shiite lawmaker and al-Maliki ally, also said an admission of wrongdoing, an apology and compensation offered a way out of the dilemma.
"They are always frightened and that’s why they shoot at civilians," al-Amri said. "If Blackwater gets to stay in Iraq, it will have to give guarantees about its conduct."" AP
Perhaps I was a little hasty in my comment about how the Iraqi government would be viewed by its people and neighbors.
In the Arab way of doing things, the kinds of redress of grievance that are mentioed would be very helpful in resolving this situation.
The Iraqi Blackwater employees will pay for this one way or another.
These mercenaries are accompanying a US force in the field, and IMO should be subject to the UCMJ.
"They are always frightened and that’s why they shoot at civilians" That is probably true. My, my. A little adult leadership and a few floggings (just kidding) would improve morale in that outfit.
No one seems to have notices that in my previous post, the picture shows Blackwater in New Orleans. pl