January 7th, 2010
03:53 PM ET
13 years ago

Security contractors charged in Afghanistan killings

Washington (CNN) - Two men who worked as security contractors for the company formerly known as Blackwater have been charged with murder in the killings of two Afghan men, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Christopher Drotleff and Justin Cannon each are charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with the May shootings in Kabul. An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Virginia also includes several weapons charges against the two men.

Both men were in Afghanistan working for a subsidiary of Xe, the controversial military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater. FBI agents have arrested both men, the Justice Department announced.

Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Whelp, that's what happens when you privatize the military, folks. This is the private sector you want running your healthcare? Have a nice day!

    January 7, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I find it disgusting that these Blackwater people who operate behind the green zone are paid a quarter of a million dollars and are military men and women receive almost minimum pay. That to me is more disgusting than the crime they committed.

    January 7, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. W Spivey

    Don't worry men, the Lone Cheney will ride in and save you. He knows how to shoot people and get away with it. "It was an accident"

    January 7, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. southerncousin

    Do they not know it is against the Obama doctrine for Americans to protect themselves. It will cause a lot of unnecessary expense if Obama has to fly over there and apologize to the Afghans again. He could stay home and just have Gibbs say Bush did it. Considering all that Bush is accused of by the libertards, he must have been the most active president in history. He must also have bee the smartest and most diabolical. I wonder why the elites alway said he was stupid and did nothing, or are they arguing out of all sides of their faces again, or could they possibly be lying,AGAIN.

    January 7, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Now....will the Republicans insist on suggesting that these guys ALSO be treated as enemy combatants and tried in a Iraqi military tribunal? I don't think so...even though, of course, they ARE non-military personnel being tried for crimes during wartime....exactly the same reasoning that the Republicans are using in their opposition to the Justice Department's handling of the 9/11 suspects.

    Of course the Republicans will claim that they are Americans and have rights. Hmm...do they? When committing crimes in another country? Why should they have any more rights when charged in other countries than the people we have imprisoned without charges in Guantanamo?

    January 7, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Economist

    There's a reason "mercenary" has long had a negative connotation.

    January 7, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Impromptu

    What a big surprise. They cannot run and they cannot hide.Why second degree murder– if they were contractors they weren't there as landscapers.Only two?

    January 7, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Glen Beck is king of the morons

    Its dangerous to have a standing army of paid thugs that work for the Corporate Facists.They should be disbanded at once or they may someday be used against the American People themselves.

    January 7, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Based on the "reasoning" employed by the GOPers regarding why we should try terrorists before military tribunals instead of civilian courts, I'd like to hear their (no doubt completely retarded) arguments as to why these guys shouldn't be treated in the same manner. After all, the GOPers consider any foreigner on our soil (or in our planes) who murders an American citizen to be a terrorist. It's the "in" epithet. These Blackwater (now Xe) jerkwads are nothing more than citizens, not military, who murdered Afghani citizens on their own soil, so by the GOPers' own admission, they are terrorists...maybe we should just skip a trial, save the money and hang them now (purposefully with too much rope so they're decapitated like Sadam)? Like it or not, they do fit the Bush administration's definition of their favorite made-up phrase and most disgusting contribution to foreign policy: "enemy combatant."

    January 7, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Jane/Seattle

    All people need to be held accountable for their actions. Hiding behind ORDERS is just the means to avoid responsibility.n This goes for the Bush Regime and their reign of "Terror" against Everyone! Now it also applies to Obama as he is not upholding his Oath to the Constitution. Whatever secret deals were made to spare the prior culprits from legal jeopardy adds to his own culpability! Lindy England was scapegoated and now others must pay for the rules these renegades break as they trash the US and all rules of law! Vincent Bugliosi is right on all of this and he knows about prosecuting Criminals! All who allow complicity are also guilty. These killers who just got off for Iraq and these here, also, do no service to keeping Americans or anyone else safe from this extreme revenge being carried out on all sides. Peace

    January 7, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |