Congratulations! Your immunity has been pre-approved!
If you're Blackwater, that is. ABC:
The wording of the immunity is included at the beginning of the Blackwater guards' sworn statements, which have been obtained by ABC News.
In each of the statements, the guards begin by saying "I understand this statement is being given in furtherance of an official administrative inquiry," and that, "I further understand that neither my statements nor any information or evidence gained by reason of my statements can be used against me in a criminal proceeding, except that if I knowingly and willfully provide false statements or information, I may be criminally prosecuted for that action under 18 United States Code, Section 1001."
The immunity deal was granted in the immediate aftermath of the shooting by State Department officials in Iraq who were under intense pressure to quickly explain what happened in the face of allegations by Iraqi officials that the contractors murdered civilians in cold blood.
Not a bad deal. This is my favorite part, though:
News of the immunity deal caught State Department officials in Washington off guard.
Why? After Scooter and the telcos, I would have thought the immunity for lawbreakers was standard operating procedure under Bush. Plus, this is State, so it's Condi, and you know she shared the whole deal with Inerrant Boy during pillow talk.
Hey, here's an idea: Why don't we save ourselves a lot of grief, and pre-approve immunity for the entire Republican Partei?
There was a reason why Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s investigators preceded the FBI into Iraq. It’s now pretty obvious why. Blackwater has a U.S. government-issued license to kill.
Beyond the obvious implications of this story, we now have an obstruction of justice angle, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and a coverup of a war crime. Secretary Rice should be hauled before congress tomorrow, and impeachment proceedings against her should begin immediately. This goes well past incompetence, into the realm of the criminal.
If Blackwater can get away with a massacre in Iraq, be afraid. Be very damn afraid. Because if they can get away with it there, they can get away with it here.