There seems to be no dispute that at least 17 Iraqi civilians were gunned down by Blackwater operatives on September 16th (even NPR cites that figure at the beginning of this report). Now I don't know about you, but I really wouldn't care if one or two or even ten shots were fired at some military/police guards in the center of my city if the result was that they went on a rampage killing 17 civilians nearby! Think about it, seventeen human beings who were just standing/driving/running in the wrong place.
But Temple-Raston focuses on only one issue. She says,
"To find out one key thing - and that's whether or not the Blackwater team actually took fire before they started firing their guns...."
"Well again the key issue is whether Blackwater contractors started the shooting in this square in western Baghdad or whether they were fired on. So they're going through all this ballistic evidence now looking for casings of bullets that perhaps weren't Blackwater guns, weren't Blackwater bullets. That would give some indication that maybe there was a shooting beforehand."So you see, if the FBI can find any evidence that even one ounce of precious American flesh was targeted in any way, then 17 dead Iraqis is a reasonable price to pay for protecting it.