Blackwater Guards: Mercenaries or Decorated Vets?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- More than a year after the fatal shootings of 17 Iraqi civilians, five decorated military veterans who worked as private security guards in Baghdad are headed to court.

One of the five Blackwater Worldwide guards indicted is from North Texas. Paul Slough is a 29-year-old Army veteran from Keller, Texas.

Iraqis hope charges to be unsealed Monday against him and other will bring justice.

The men were charged following the September 2007 shooting in a busy Baghdad intersection. Young children were among the victims of the shooting.

The case of the gruesome slayings strained diplomatic ties and raised the level of anti-Americanism in Baghdad.

Defense lawyers say the case unfairly has tarnished the images of the Blackwater guards.

Mark Hulkower is a lawyer for Slough. He says the indictments never should have been brought.

Slough served with the 3rd Infantry Division, including a tour in Bosnia. He was a member of the Texas National Guard, 2/142 Infantry and served in Iraq.

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