January 7th, 2010
03:35 PM ET

Security contractors charged in Afghanistan killings

WASHINGTON - Two men who worked as security contractors for the company formerly known as Blackwater have been charged with murder in the killings of two Afghan men, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Christopher Drotleff and Justin Cannon each are charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with the May shootings in Kabul. An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Virginia also includes several weapons charges against the two men.

Both men were in Afghanistan working for a subsidiary of Xe, the controversial military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater. FBI agents have arrested both men, the Justice Department announced.

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  1. Burk

    Defendants need to be released.

    January 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave O

    As a government contractor who has watched the history of Blackwater (sorry, Xe) and the Eric Prince transformation. Mr. Prince is an extremely intelligent business man. Not only has he changed the name from Blackwater to Xe, to “fool” the American public into believing he was no longer in business. He has transferred staff to his other company, the Terrorism Research Center, under the guidance of Walt Purdy. The Terrorism Research Center teaches deploying contractors , U.S. AND Canadian Military. So don’t be fooled into thinking the giant has been quieted, it only has a new face, The Terrorism Research Center.

    January 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A. Smith, Oregon

    How is propping up a corrupt leader by the guns and lives of the American soldiers leading to any definition of success or victory? A large number of Afghanistan people reject Karzi, a large number of people reject the Iraqi leader and a large number of Yemen people reject the Yemen leader. Those corrupt leaders are not accepted by a majority of the people in their own country's and without American weapons and support, none of those corrupt men would be leaders of those country's.

    Does forcing a corrupt leader by the guns and lives of the American soldiers upon nations of people that reject that man lead to making Americans safer?

    Does forcing a corrupt leader by the guns and lives of the American soldiers upon nations of people that reject that man lead to make the world safer?

    January 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jenmo

    Cheney had his own private 'assasination team" and which was proven illegal. Is Cheney charged with murder yet?

    January 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. C.W. Dunn

    This is clearly another liberal/media witch hunt. Just as with the September 2007 incident, if a contingent of the US military would have taken the same actions, it would not have been an issue. Why? Because those men were defending themselves. Any US Soldier or Marine would have acted the same way in both situations, and it would have been all right, because they were obviously defending themselves. It is disconcertingly clear that the media and Democrats have it out for Security Companies. The best I can reckon, it's just one way for them to let out their frustration over the Bush years. Ruining someones career/life is not the way to go about it, ladies and gentlemen.

    January 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michael

    Blackwater...Xe...and whatever other names this and other contractor "companies" go by are and have been mercenaries in the employ of the U.S. government. The look, are outfitted, and act the part, so let them be dealt with as mercenaries usually are.

    January 8, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. A. Smith, Oregon

    Let's see if the CIA is able to interfere with the US Justice system in putting these Murder's in prison where they belong!

    January 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A. Smith, Oregon

    Its about damn time to arrest these CIA contractors for murdering civilians in Afghanistan and in Iraq who have done this routinely and routinely have gotten away with it. Both the Iraqi and Afghanistani leaders have been calling for murder charges against the Xe CIA contractors for a long time.

    Now let's see if US Justice throws out their murder charges due to heavy CIA influence on the US Courts decision.

    How many American soldiers were shot and blown-up by IED's directly as a result from previously neutral residents in Iraq and Afghanistan that became outraged when their civilian children, brothers and sisters were murdered by these Xe CIA contractors?

    January 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. James Swiatek

    Here we go again,,(no I'm a Dem),"You can't tell the players without a scorecard" dosen't work over there! As far as I've heard, there are no scorecards in Iraq or Afghanistan. When/if one's life is in jeopardy one has to make split second decisions. Don't fault the messenger-

    January 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |