Man pardoned in Blackwater mass shooting says he ‘acted correctly’

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A former government security contractor pardoned by President Trump for a shooting rampage in Baghdad that left 14 civilians dead, says he “acted correctly.”

“I regret any innocent loss of life, but I’m just confident in how I acted and I can basically feel peace with that.” Evan Liberty, one of four Blackwater contractors pardoned by President Trump before Christmas, told the Associated Press.

The September 2007 Blackwater shooting prompted international condemnation over the role of military contractors in war zones.

Liberty and the three other Blackwater employees — Dustin Heard, Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough — who were convicted in 2014 said they were targeted by insurgents when they came to a stop at a traffic light in Baghdad. A judge called the incident, in which civilians were shot while in their cars or as they tried to run away, an “overall wild thing” which could not be condoned.

Liberty, whose original 30-year sentence was cut in half last year, told the AP he did not shoot in the direction of any of the victims.

“I didn’t shoot at anybody who wasn’t shooting at me,” he said.

In announcing the Blackwater pardons, the White House cited the contractors’ military service and the wildly different accounts of the shooting, according to the AP.

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