WASHINGTON — Win Without War Advocacy Director Erica Fein released the following statement regarding President Trump’s pardon of four Blackwater guards convicted for murdering Iraqi civilians:
“On September 16, 2007, private military contractors employed by the firm Blackwater intentionally massacred 17 Iraqis in cold blood, and injured many more. Today, Donald Trump pardoned these convicted murderers.
“This egregious abuse of executive power is a chilling attack on justice in service of the protection of one of the wealthiest and most powerful private military companies in existence. While Blackwater may have since rebranded to Academi, we will not forget the terrible crimes it is responsible for, especially as it and its founder Erik Prince lobby for the further privatization of the U.S. military.
“Shamefully, this pardon is not altogether new. Those Americans responsible for mass suffering abroad have long evaded accountability for their actions — from on-the-ground war criminals like Eddie Gallagher, whom Trump pardoned last year, to the policymakers who recklessly decide to invade and destroy an entire country, to the officials who sell arms to dictators knowing they will be used to slaughter civilians abroad. With today’s pardon, Trump once again sent a signal to the world that while the United States government supposedly champions human rights, when it comes to taking responsibility for its own actions, it will happily excuse even the most heinous crimes.”