Discuss as:

Iraq/Iran: Immunity

The New York Times: "State Department investigators offered Blackwater USA security guards immunity during an inquiry into last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad -- a potentially serious investigative misstep that could complicate efforts to prosecute the company's employees involved in the episode, government officials said Monday."

The Washington Post adds, "FBI agents called in to take over the State Department's investigation two weeks after the Sept. 16 shootings cannot use any information gleaned during questioning of the guards by the department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which is charged with supervising security contractors. Some of the Blackwater guards have subsequently refused to be interviewed by the FBI, citing promises of immunity from State, one law enforcement official said. The restrictions on the FBI's use of their initial statements do not preclude prosecution by the Justice Department using other evidence, the official said, but 'they make things a lot more complicated and difficult.'"

Giuliani said he believes the Democratic presidential candidates will eventually change their minds about Iraq, NBC/NJ's Matthew Berger reports. Giuliani told staffers at Insight Technology that he believed the mission in Iraq was the correct one and questioned Clinton's, Edwards', and Obama's changing positions. "I think they're going to change their minds," he said. "I think the verdict of history is going to be that it was the right decision."

"Suppose Hillary Clinton and John Edward's new position were there positions back then, that it was a mistake to take him out," Giuliani said. "Would we be dealing with Saddam Hussein becoming nuclear right now?  If Iran was becoming nuclear, what would he be doing?"

Giuliani also expressed support for the Bush administration's recently announced sanctions against Iran and said it could prevent the need for military action. "I think military action against Iran would be very dangerous, I think it would be very damaging," he said. "I come to the conclusion however that ultimately Iran having nuclear weapons would be more dangerous and more damaging." He likened the Democrats' plan for handling Iran to Jimmy Carter.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton issued this response to Giuliani's remarks. "Mayor Giuliani has stooped to a disgraceful new low that embraces the very worst legacy of George Bush and Dick Cheney's cynicism and divisiveness. We must be united in our determination to hunt down Osama bin Laden, something that George Bush and Rudy Giuliani's disastrous Iraq war has prevented. Mayor Giuliani's cheap applause lines, unfounded political smears, and shoot-first-think-later politics are irresponsible in a campaign, and would be catastrophic in a presidency."