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(The News & Observer (NC))   Sister company to Blackwater Security wants lawsuit against them decided under Islamic law instead of an American courtroom because three pregnant goats, two chickens and a rooster are cheaper than a half a billion dollars   (newsobserver.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious  
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1668 clicks; posted to Business » on 18 Jun 2008 at 9:50 PM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



40 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2008-06-18 07:45:34 PM  
well, it's true
 
2008-06-18 08:04:36 PM  
Farked link and Google News has nothing else on this.
 
2008-06-18 08:10:12 PM  
Oh riiight,

because criminals always get to choose where they go to court.

duh
 
2008-06-18 08:44:26 PM  
Solon Isonomia: Farked link and Google News has nothing else on this.

The Google news cache still has the link, but the article is dead. And the website has nothing like it tagged under Blackwater

Weird.
 
2008-06-18 09:17:56 PM  
Solon Isonomia: Farked link and Google News has nothing else on this.

That's odd, the link worked fine for me. Should I post the article here?
 
2008-06-18 09:33:29 PM  
BravadoGT: The Google news cache still has the link, but the article is dead. And the website has nothing like it tagged under Blackwater

Weird.


Philbb: That's odd, the link worked fine for me. Should I post the article here?

Just tried it after seeing Philbb's post; it's working for me now. Funky.


Now, reviewing the article, here's an interesting bit excerpt.

FTFA: Presidential Airways argued that the lawsuit must be dismissed; legal doctrine holds that soldiers cannot sue the government, and the company was acting as an agent of the government.

Last year, a series of federal judges dismissed that argument.


It looks like Presidential Airways are trying everything they can to use an affirmative defense and so far they have failed. This wasn't that bad of an attempt on their part, but they got a bad break on the motion.

I'm a little behind on my conflicts of law/comparative law, but they could win this motion. Of course, equitable relief may still be had...
 
2008-06-18 09:58:42 PM  
www.motherjones.com

All I know is that this guy is the shiat.

/Look at the Youtube!
 
2008-06-18 10:00:04 PM  
Worked for me as well, here's a cut and paste just in case:

Joseph Neff and Jay Price, Staff WritersComment on this story
RALEIGH - To defend itself against a lawsuit by the widows of three American soldiers who died on one of its planes in Afghanistan, a sister company of the private military firm Blackwater has asked a federal court to decide the case using the Islamic law known as Shari'a.

The lawsuit "is governed by the law of Afghanistan," Presidential Airways argued in a Florida federal court. "Afghan law is largely religion-based and evidences a strong concern for ensuring moral responsibility, and deterring violations of obligations within its borders."

If the judge agrees, it would essentially end the lawsuit over a botched flight supporting the U.S. military. Shari'a law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.

Erik Prince, who owns Blackwater and Presidential Airways, briefly discussed the lawsuit in a meeting today with editors and reporters at The News & Observer. Prince was asked to justify having a case involving an American company working for the U.S. government decided by Afghan law.

"Where did the crash occur?" Prince said. "Afghanistan."

Joseph Schmitz, Prince's general counsel, said Presidential Airways was asking the federal judge to follow past U.S. cases where courts have applied another country's laws to resolve damages that occurred overseas.

The crash of Blackwater Flight 61 occurred in the rugged mountains of central Afghanistan in 2004, killing three soldiers and the three-man crew.

The widows of the soldiers sued Presidential Airways, Blackwater's sister company, which was under contract with the U.S. military to fly cargo and personnel around Afghanistan.

Presidential Airways argued that the lawsuit must be dismissed; legal doctrine holds that soldiers cannot sue the government, and the company was acting as an agent of the government.

Last year, a series of federal judges dismissed that argument.

In April, Presidential asked a federal judge in Florida to dismiss the lawsuit because the case is controlled by Afghanistan's Islamic law. If the judge agrees that Afghan law applies, the lawsuit would be dismissed. The company also plans to ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit on the constitutional grounds that a court should not interfere in military decision-making.

The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed the crash on Presidential for its "failure to require its flight crews to file and fly a defined route," and for not providing oversight to make sure its crews followed company policies and Pentagon and FAA safety regulations.
 
2008-06-18 10:06:41 PM  
Well, maybe the courts will say the Presidents of the companies will need to get their heads chopped off for their atrocities...

... ya know, they might not have thought this all the way through.
 
2008-06-18 10:13:32 PM  
If they're guilty they'll rape and stone their wives.
 
2008-06-18 10:44:49 PM  
These contracting companies are a major obstruction to our progress in Iraq, just another privatization scheme by the neocons.

There was a time when our own military took care of their business. It was cheaper and done better, because it was their comrades lives if it wasn't done correctly.

Anybody arguing that this method of using contractors is somehow an improvement is a raving lunatic, a complete idiot, or profiting from the situation.

Can anyone explain to me how paying a small army of people salaries 3-5 times that of the standard soldier, junking equipment that is still functional, and charging 10 times the amount for a job is beneficial for the war effort? CEO salaries and stockholder dividends are not a factor in successful war efforts, by the way.
 
2008-06-18 10:53:35 PM  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ksJE-YFy8k


/not a rick roll
 
2008-06-18 11:26:00 PM  
Since when did Prince become a mercenary?www.hilary.com
 
2008-06-18 11:29:09 PM  
You know what... this case SHOULD go to trial under the laws of the nation where the crime happened.

Unless you are all trying to argue that Mexican nationals caught in the US should be tried under the laws of their homeland instead of ours?

Cant have it both ways. Crimes should be punished in accordance with the laws of the land they happen in/on or the laws of the homeland the criminals came from. I am in favor of the crimes being punished by the nation the were committed in.
 
2008-06-18 11:31:08 PM  
I'm hoping Islamic law has some beheading in store for these asswipes.
 
2008-06-18 11:38:41 PM  
ProdigalSigh: Presidential Airways argued that the lawsuit must be dismissed; legal doctrine holds that soldiers cannot sue the government, and the company was acting as an agent of the government.

The mercenary s don't get to pretend they are soldiers or any sort armed forces members as long as they continue to not abide by the rules of engagement that we have to follow and as long as they are not subject to the uniform code of military justice.
 
2008-06-18 11:40:55 PM  
Emeraldstar, you don't understand. There is shariah, which is for the muslims, and the normal courts. Unfortunately for Blackwater, unless a Muslim was involved, this case cannot go to Shariah. It is strictly, strictly for the muslims. If there was a muslim victim, he could choose which venue he wanted.

However, there is a very good chance even if there is a muslim plaintiff, that this does not fall under Shariah, which is confined to a very small amount of offenses, murder not being one of them.
 
2008-06-18 11:48:43 PM  
Emeraldstar: You know what... this case SHOULD go to trial under the laws of the nation where the crime happened.

Unless you are all trying to argue that Mexican nationals caught in the US should be tried under the laws of their homeland instead of ours?

Cant have it both ways. Crimes should be punished in accordance with the laws of the land they happen in/on or the laws of the homeland the criminals came from. I am in favor of the crimes being punished by the nation the were committed in.



But this isn't a criminal trial. It's a civil lawsuit filed by Americans against an American company.
 
2008-06-19 12:06:22 AM  
I submitted this, right after it went green, the newspaper pulled the article. When it re-appeared, Blackwater wasn't in the headline anymore.

One of the modmins added "sister" to the headline, which wasn't mentioned in the first article either.

The first article musta struck a nerve, probably with a Blackwater lawyer.
 
2008-06-19 12:16:30 AM  
Why would a born-again, flag waving Christian's company desire to be ruled by Muslim law? Must be that he just can't handle Christian justice. Typical.

He must be a friend of GW.
 
2008-06-19 12:23:09 AM  
I was expecting an Amway (new window) joke.
 
2008-06-19 12:34:39 AM  
halB: Emeraldstar, you don't understand. There is sharia, which is for the muslims, and the normal courts. Unfortunately for Blackwater, unless a Muslim was involved, this case cannot go to Shariah. It is strictly, strictly for the muslims. If there was a muslim victim, he could choose which venue he wanted.

However, there is a very good chance even if there is a muslim plaintiff, that this does not fall under Shariah, which is confined to a very small amount of offenses, murder not being one of them.


You dont understand. Where did I say anything about Shari'a law? I said under the laws of the nation the crime happened in. Perhaps next time you can argue what I said , not what your mind decides it can twist things into. The laws of Afghanistan should apply in this case. Not the laws of the US.
 
2008-06-19 12:37:47 AM  
Abzzstain: Emeraldstar: You know what... this case SHOULD go to trial under the laws of the nation where the crime happened.

Unless you are all trying to argue that Mexican nationals caught in the US should be tried under the laws of their homeland instead of ours?

Cant have it both ways. Crimes should be punished in accordance with the laws of the land they happen in/on or the laws of the homeland the criminals came from. I am in favor of the crimes being punished by the nation the were committed in.


But this isn't a criminal trial. It's a civil lawsuit filed by Americans against an American company.



And if there was not a provision for negligence in the contract then nothing at all should come of the case.

I also happen to agree with the stance that as contractors for the US govt , transporting US soldiers and goods the company should have blanket immunity from lawsuits of this type.
 
2008-06-19 12:58:37 AM  
I'm a little rusty on my civil aviation law, but I recall that in aircraft accident cases the court in the state where the carrier that owned the aircraft is based gets the case. (In this case, since Blackwater owned the Aircraft, U.S. courts would hear the case)

/Googles Montreal Convention... yup, Article 33.1
 
2008-06-19 01:00:29 AM  
But Afghanistan is part of the United States now. All their base are belong to us.
 
2008-06-19 01:11:36 AM  
Emeraldstar: And if there was not a provision for negligence in the contract then nothing at all should come of the case.

Apparently the plane was under FAA jurisdiction, as it was considered a US air taxi. I.e. they can be sued in the US, and they are liable for the end result of all safety regulations they have ignored, regardless of whatever disclaimers they have in the contract.
 
2008-06-19 01:23:39 AM  
DWitchiewoman: Oh riiight,

because criminals always get to choose where they go to court.

duh



You do if you have those Dick Cheney-type connections.
 
2008-06-19 01:32:54 AM  
Hopefully they get their farking heads cut off in the public square.
 
2008-06-19 01:38:01 AM  
Blanket immunity? Is this the Blackwater crash that occurred with the asshole pilot purposefully flying too low and through a canyon?
 
2008-06-19 01:44:56 AM  
Emeraldstar: Crimes should be punished in accordance with the laws of the land they happen in/on or the laws of the homeland the criminals came from.

US military bases are considered US soil. Although the article is a bit sketchy on details, it's assumable they were flying from one US outpost to another.

FTA: The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed the crash on Presidential for its "failure to require its flight crews to file and fly a defined route," and for not providing oversight to make sure its crews followed company policies and Pentagon and FAA safety regulations.

So the company allowed its external agents to violate its own policies. Policies that were set by and should ultimately be enforced from, their corporate HQ... which is in the US.

If a plane takes off heading from Alaska to Chicago, but crashes in Canada...

Emeraldstar: I also happen to agree with the stance that as contractors for the US govt , transporting US soldiers and goods the company should have blanket immunity from lawsuits of this type.

So you would argue that any contractor for the US govt can be as grossly negligent as they wish, up to and including causing the deaths of US servicemen, and thereby suffer no reprisals other than possible cancellation of said contract?
 
2008-06-19 02:22:46 AM  
ProdigalSigh: If a plane takes off heading from Alaska to Chicago, but crashes in Canada...

Where do you bury the survivors?
 
2008-06-19 02:35:17 AM  
RDMA: Where do you bury the survivors?

In medical bills if they're not Canadian.
 
2008-06-19 02:50:49 AM  
Fine. And when an investigation finds fraud on one of Blackwater's government contracts, Erik Prince has one of his hands chopped off.
 
2008-06-19 03:04:34 AM  
ProdigalSigh: RDMA: Where do you bury the survivors?

In medical bills if they're not Canadian.


Very well played sir!
 
2008-06-19 04:16:42 AM  
Moving on to the actual case:

The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed the crash on Presidential for its "failure to require its flight crews to file and fly a defined route," and for not providing oversight to make sure its crews followed company policies and Pentagon and FAA safety regulations.

The way I read this, the pilot flew into a mountain, and it's somehow the fault of the company for not doing enough to make sure he FOLLOWED COMPANY POLICY. So HE killed himself and two buddies while violating company oplicy, so that's HIM that deserves nothing (and nothing for his family) and HIM that is liable for the loss of the other two. But in true American fashion, the families are suing the company because it has deep pockets. The pilot who is really responsible killed himself off.

/not saying that's necesarily the right call, but at least it's based on SOME facts, instead of the stupid "stone them, behead them" comments yanked out of rectal orifices.
 
2008-06-19 05:02:37 AM  
Emeraldstar
You know what... this case SHOULD go to trial under the laws of the nation where the crime happened.

Well, that depends. An American company with American employees who sends those employees overseas is still bound by some American laws, in addition to being bound by local laws, by virtue of the fact the employee is officially employed within the USA, regardless of whether or not he's physically in the USA all the time or not.

If the company violates applicable US law, they should be tried and punished in the USA, and if they violate applicable foreign law, they should be tried and punished in that nation.
 
2008-06-19 09:32:14 AM  
Solon Isonomia: BravadoGT: The Google news cache still has the link, but the article is dead. And the website has nothing like it tagged under Blackwater

Weird.

Philbb: That's odd, the link worked fine for me. Should I post the article here?

Just tried it after seeing Philbb's post; it's working for me now. Funky.


Now, reviewing the article, here's an interesting bit excerpt.

FTFA: Presidential Airways argued that the lawsuit must be dismissed; legal doctrine holds that soldiers cannot sue the government, and the company was acting as an agent of the government.

Last year, a series of federal judges dismissed that argument.

It looks like Presidential Airways are trying everything they can to use an affirmative defense and so far they have failed. This wasn't that bad of an attempt on their part, but they got a bad break on the motion.

I'm a little behind on my conflicts of law/comparative law, but they could win this motion. Of course, equitable relief may still be had...


My Take on this (and Conflicts of Law was 3+ years ago for me now) is that there is a case on point from the 1960's involing an employee of AARAMCO and IIRC the rule is that the law of a foreign court can be applied to disputes arising in it's territory if the legal system of the country is sufficently advanced as to provide some analogue of American due process.
 
2008-06-19 09:34:04 AM  
Emeraldstar: You know what... this case SHOULD go to trial under the laws of the nation where the crime happened.

Unless you are all trying to argue that Mexican nationals caught in the US should be tried under the laws of their homeland instead of ours?

Cant have it both ways. Crimes should be punished in accordance with the laws of the land they happen in/on or the laws of the homeland the criminals came from. I am in favor of the crimes being punished by the nation the were committed in.


agreed. Blackwater can have this case tried under Afghani law the minute they turns over theemployees involved in the marketplace massacre to Iraqi authorities.
 
2008-06-19 10:37:31 AM  
Why Islamic law and not some secular Afghani law? Wasn't the whole point of ousting the Taliban to bring in a secular government? If they are still using Shaira law what exactly has changed?
 
2008-06-21 12:41:32 AM  
Loki-L
Why Islamic law and not some secular Afghani law?

There is no secular Afghani law.

Wasn't the whole point of ousting the Taliban to bring in a secular government? If they are still using Shaira law what exactly has changed?

Their legal system is unchanged. The point was to oust the Taliban and let the Afghani people choose a new government, and they chose another government which still uses Sharia (though a less conservative flavor). The Taliban were extremists -- men no longer get 50 lashes for having too short of a beard, women can actually do things, etc. But the new system is still very much Sharia (and even still probably the strictest application of Sharia outside of Saudi Arabia).

And, well, when the people who took over (the ones called "Northern Alliance" in US media) call themselves "The United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan", you can be pretty sure they're supporters of Sharia too.

Even Iraq will probably be under Sharia when we leave. Their constitution, while it doesn't establish it, explicitly states that Sharia is constitutional, and that the Qu'ran is (along with the constitution) the fundamental source of law. And the current majority party in Iraq was formed by the fusion of the Al'Dawa party and SCIRI, both heavily pro-Iran, pro-Sharia parties. They haven't made Sharia a top priority, but it's still very much part of their platform.
 
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