We have known all along that the "investigation" into what happened in Nisur Square on September 16, 2007, was a sham, and we've dedicated an entire page of our website to detailing several reasons why. We updated that page today because, as it turns out, apparently, the U.S. government has known something all along too.
Less than a week before Nick Slatten's retrial was set to begin, the DOJ disclosed that the Iraqi officer who spearheaded the investigation, Col. Faris Karim (who also told the FBI that he was present in Nisur Square during the incident), has suspected insurgency ties. Yes, you read that correctly: to investigate, prosecute, and wrongfully convict four decorated veterans, our own government either knowingly or negligently relied on an individual with suspected insurgency ties. AND THEY DID NOT DISCLOSE THIS CRITICAL EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE TO THE DEFENSE DESPITE HAVING IT BEFORE THE 2014 TRIAL.
Here are a few ways in which Col. Karim was integral to the government's case:
- Col. Karim removed the bodies of the deceased alleged victims from Nisur Square.
- Before the first American military official arrived on scene, Col. Karim also removed the alleged wounded victims.
- Col. Karim identified the alleged victims of the incident and provided information regarding them to American authorities.
- Col. Karim supervised the collection of physical evidence from the scene on the day of the incident. American military officials on scene observed over a hundred spent shell casings, but they did not collect physical evidence. The first American effort to collect physical evidence was four days later. More than a month after the incident, Col. Karim finally turned over to the FBI the physical evidence he collected, namely: one green smoke canister, six shell casings, two rifle magazines, five 5.56 mm casings, five M-240B casings, two M-203 grenade casings, one smoke canister spoon and pin, and two smoke canisters. It is unknown what happened to all the shell casings that U.S. military personnel observed, as it appears that Col. Karim never turned them over to the FBI, but their absence speaks volumes given all the other evidence that Raven 23 took incoming fire.
- Col. Karim and his team met with Iraqi witnesses, wrote their statements (some of which are identical), and gave the witnesses information about the investigation.
- Col. Karim arranged meetings between Iraqi witnesses and FBI investigators.
- Prior to the 2014 trial, Col. Karim contacted one of the Iraqi witnesses and told him that if he "told the witnesses to go left they would go left, and if he told them to go right they would go right."
- Col. Karim's influence over the Iraqi witnesses was so problematic that the FBI had to "admonish him regarding speaking to the Iraqis about the substance of the case when he calls to schedule interviews."
Here are a few reasons why this revelation is such a bombshell:
- It undermines the credibility of the entire investigation, in which the alleged victim count and cause of the true dead and wounded victims have always been hotly disputed (and never tied through physical evidence to any specific defendant)
- It destroys the government's contention that there were no insurgents or terrorists in Nisur Square (Col. Karim told the FBI that he was, in fact, in the Square during the incident).
- Despite having intelligence to the contrary, the government has misrepresented key facts to the public . . . and to the grand juries that indicted Paul, Dustin, Evan, and Nick . . . and to the jury that convicted them.
- The government has hidden exculpatory evidence from Paul, Dustin, Evan, and Nick that it had well before the 2014 trial and that is vital to Paul, Dustin, Evan, and Nick's defense. Nick has the benefit of a heavily summarized (and legally insufficient) version of this intelligence in his retrial (if it still occurs, a motion to dismiss is pending), but further legal wrangling would be required to determine if/how the government's failure to disclose this information to Paul, Dustin, and Evan impacts their case.
So, what happens now?
Nick has filed two separate motions regarding this revelation. The first seeks to compel revised summaries of the classified information at issue because the small amount of information that the government has provided--although critical--is not legally sufficient to protect Nick's constitutional rights. Barring disclosure of the necessary information, Nick seeks a dismissal of his indictment. You can read that motion HERE. Nick's second motion seeks to prevent improper argument by the government that there were no insurgents or terrorists in Nisur Square, now that we have U.S. intelligence to the contrary. You can read that motion HERE. Rulings on these motions are expected Friday, June 22, 2018, and we hope to be able to report favorable rulings in our week-one trial recap. So, please check back.
In the meantime, in addition to reading the motions themselves, you can read key media coverage of this issue in the article linked below. Please pray for truth and justice and help us share this key development.