Nearly a year and a half after the incident, the Justice Department has sent a team to investigate a former Blackwater contractor for drunkenly gunning down a bodyguard to Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi on Christmas Eve, 2006.
To refresh your memory on this singularly ugly case: after the shooting, Blackwater and the State Department got together to hustle the contractor, Andrew Moonen, out of Iraq (when Blackwater CEO Erik Prince was asked about this, he replied, "It could easily be.").
Part of the effort to keep the thing under wraps was a payment to the victim's family. Emails showed that when U.S. Embassy officials suggested either $100,000 or $250,000, a State diplomatic-security official countered with $15,000. The figure needed to be lower, the diplomatic-security official contended, so Iraqis wouldn't "try to get killed to set up their family financially."
And they managed to keep the thing so quiet that Moonen soon went back to Iraq working for another contractor.
But now prosecutors have evidently determined that the law will allow them to charge Moonen. They say they'll reach a decision at the end of the summer. Don't confuse this case with the Nisour Square shooting -- the Justice Department is also investigating that incident, and a handful of contractors are reportedly still on the hook.