Monday, May 21, 2007

To Arbitration

A federal judge in North Carolina last week ordered the wrongful death lawsuit pending against Blackwater into binding arbitration.

The Virginian-Pilot reports:

After appealing unsuccessfully all the way to the Supreme Court, Blackwater now appears to have found another way to derail what promised to be a landmark lawsuit brought by the families of four security contractors killed in a convoy ambush in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.

This week, on orders of a federal judge, the dispute is scheduled to be taken up out of court by a three-man panel of arbitrators.

By steering the case into arbitration, Blackwater has shifted a legal showdown over issues of battlefield accountability and presidential authority into a non judicial arena where the proceedings occur behind closed doors and the outcome is confidential.

One of the three arbitrators is William Webster, a Reagan-era director of the FBI and CIA with personal and business ties to several Blackwater lawyers.

See the full story here.