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Friday, September 5, 2008

US company asks Florida court to judge case by Islamic law, not American law

In one of the comments regarding my post Our Distraction, Halle Burton posted a link to a news story at Jihad Watch. Note: You'll have to scroll almost halfway down the page to find this at Jihad Watch.

There I made reference to "dhimmi liberals and apologists". Obviously biased when I used "liberals" exclusively and didn't include "conservatives", I stand corrected. There are conservative and liberal dhimmis in this country.

My thanks to Halle for pointing out the error in my statement ever so gently. Some days ya step in it...some days ya don't. As a result of Halle's comment I began to research this story a little deeper and discovered some disturbing information.

Although this story is months old now, it is still relevant as it reveals more detail about "Our Distraction" and why all of us, liberal and conservative, need to be paying attention.

My research revealed Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater and Presidential Airways, is apparently conservative and Christian. He has many ties to conservative advocates and groups. On the surface it would appear that Mr. Prince is more concerned about saving a few of his millions than the creep of Shari'a law into our country. I can't say without speculating that is what his motives were by taking this to a U.S. court and asking to have this case judged under the laws of a foreign country, Afghanistan, only Mr. Prince could provide the detail to that.

But you can read for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Joseph Neff and Jay Price, Staff Writers

RALEIGH - To defend itself against a lawsuit by the widows of three American soldiers who died on one of its planes in Afghanistan, a sister company of the private military firm Blackwater has asked a federal court to decide the case using the Islamic law known as Shari’a.

The lawsuit “is governed by the law of Afghanistan,” Presidential Airways argued in a Florida federal court.

“Afghan law is largely religion-based and evidences a strong concern for ensuring moral responsibility, and deterring violations of obligations within its borders.”

If the judge agrees, it would essentially end the lawsuit over a botched flight supporting the U.S. military. Shari’a law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.

Erik Prince, who owns Blackwater and Presidential Airways, briefly discussed the lawsuit in a meeting today with editors and reporters at The News & Observer. Prince was asked to justify having a case involving an American company working for the U.S. government decided by Afghan law.

“Where did the crash occur?” Prince said. “Afghanistan.”

Joseph Schmitz, Prince’s general counsel, said Presidential Airways was asking the federal judge to follow past U.S. cases where courts have applied another country’s laws to resolve damages that occurred overseas.
The crash of Blackwater Flight 61 occurred in the rugged mountains of central Afghanistan in 2004, killing three soldiers and the three-man crew.

The widows of the soldiers sued Presidential Airways, Blackwater’s sister company, which was under contract with the U.S. military to fly cargo and personnel around Afghanistan.
Presidential Airways argued that the lawsuit must be dismissed; legal doctrine holds that soldiers cannot sue the government, and the company was acting as an agent of the government.
Last year, a series of federal judges dismissed that argument.

In April, Presidential asked a federal judge in Florida to dismiss the lawsuit because the case is controlled by Afghanistan’s Islamic law. If the judge agrees that Afghan law applies, the lawsuit would be dismissed. The company also plans to ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit on the constitutional grounds that a court should not interfere in military decision-making.

The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed the crash on Presidential for its “failure to require its flight crews to file and fly a defined route,” and for not providing oversight to make sure its crews followed company policies and Pentagon and FAA safety regulations.
joseph.neff@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4516
More links 
 The stealth jihad of short-sightedness and expediency.
Erik Prince exclusive interview

Erik Prince calls Blackwater 'a robust temp agency' in Economic Club speech

My opinion:
This is far more than just allowing the proverbial "camels nose under the tent". This could establish a precedent that allows the entire camel into the tent.

There are far more important things than money in this world Mr. Prince. As a Christian you should know that.
The NTSB found Presidential Airways at fault. The three widows deserve your compassion and compensation for the loss of their loved ones Mr. Prince.

When will people in this country ever learn?