Updates, personal notes, humor and tid-bits from friends, religious and/or political comment.
Saturday, May 02, 2015
CC Report May 2015
May 2015 • Issue No. 18
Showing Support for Blackwater’s Raven 23 BY TIM SCHMIDT - USCCA FOUNDER
A “massacre of justice.”
That’s what Jessica Slatten calls the wrongful conviction and
imprisonment of her brother, Nick, and three other decorated combat
veterans: Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard.
The four men—all members of the government-contracted tactical security
team known as “Raven 23”—were, in late 2014, found “guilty of numerous
crimes in connection with a 2007 shooting incident that occurred in
Baghdad’s Nisur Square.”
On April 15th, 2015—six long months
after their convictions—the men were sentenced for their supposed
crimes: Slough, Liberty, and Heard to the minimum 30 years—and Slatten
There’s just one glaring problem:
The men have vehemently maintained their innocence from day one,
claiming their actions in Baghdad were justified and in congruence with
their considerable training.
Here’s a condensed version of what transpired in Nisur Square:
In September of 2007, the private security contractor Blackwater, for
whom the four men worked, was under contract by the U.S. Department of
State to provide diplomatic security in war-torn Iraq.
According to Jessica Slatten, “Raven 23 set up four vehicles along a
traffic circle in Nisur Square to secure an exit route for another team
that had been attacked by a VBIED [vehicle-borne improvised explosive
device]. Shortly after locking down the circle, two things happened
almost simultaneously: a white Kia broke from stopped traffic and moved
toward the convoy (a textbook sign of a car bomb attack), and the convoy
began taking incoming small arms fire from AK-47s.”
She continues, “Acting in accordance with their extensive training and
experience, several members of Raven 23...responded to stop the threats,
suppressing the active shooters and using escalating force to stop the
A two-way firefight ensued, and insurgent fire took out one of Raven 23’s vehicles, which had to be towed from the scene.
What happened next can perhaps best be described as the beginning of things going horribly wrong:
“Iraqis flooded the scene, collecting what one witness described as
pillowcase-sized bags of spent shell casings—evidence that was never
turned over to American investigators. Even without the benefit of this
evidence, the Department of State concluded that Raven 23 took enemy
fire and responded appropriately. However, facing intense political
pressure from the then-existing Iraqi government, and a body count that
far exceeded anything documented at the scene and that continued to grow
in response to Iraqi television ads, the FBI went to Iraq—three weeks
after the incident—to conduct its own investigation.”
Needless to say, that skewed investigation and the men’s ensuing trial
through a corrupt justice system hinged on a push for convictions
instead of a search for truth (I encourage you to review the entire case
Likewise, Slough’s, Liberty’s, Heard’s, and Slatten’s story has
become—unjustly so—one about murder rather than one about self-defense.
Despite overwhelming evidence and testimony that solidifies their claims
of innocence, the four men have spent the last 8 years paying for
crimes they did not commit. They will continue to pay with their good
names and their freedom—so long as good people stand by and do nothing.
You already know how I feel about law-abiding Americans using firearms
in self-defense. (After all, that’s ultimately why the USCCA exists: to
protect the good guys and gals after they’re forced to pull the
trigger.) So it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Raven
23’s story has deeply moved me to take action.
The freedom of four innocent men is no laughing matter, and their story
hits close to home. See, each and every one of us who carries a gun for
self-defense could one day face a similar fate after being forced to use
our weapon to defend ourselves or the ones we love: and that’s simply not OK with me.
I ask you to familiarize yourself with this “massacre of justice” and
decide for yourself: If you believe, like I do, that these four men’s
actions were justified self-defense and that they deserve more from a
country they chose to serve and protect without reservation, please click here to find out how you can help. These fellow responsibly armed Americans need our support now more than ever.
Take Care and Stay Safe,
Publisher - Concealed Carry Report
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