AAM: "The message here is that no one, even in war, is above the law."
Michael recaps the Blackwater indictments and how the Iraqi people view the situation.
KIRAN CHETRY: Also this morning, attorneys for five former Blackwater security guards charged with manslaughter are planning an aggressive counter attack. The men are accused of using machine guns and grenade launchers to kill 14 unarmed -- or rather, 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians. A sixth man who cut a deal will testify against them when they're tried in Washington. Defense lawyers say that the case is politically motivated to appease the Iraqi government.
CNN's Michael Ware is in Baghdad.
Is there anything to this argument that this case is an attempt to appease the Iraqis who were infuriated by this case?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, Kiran, something had to be done to assuage the Iraqi population, who were livid at this -- there's on other word for it -- an atrocity.
But let's bear this in mind first. There's been multiple investigations into this incident a year ago, where our numbers say at least 17 innocent Iraqi lives were ended as they were going about their morning business in the morning congestion of the traffic. Now, of these investigations, there was one by the Iraqi government, one by the U.S. military, and one by the FBI.
And as the assistant attorney general who was announcing the indictments said yesterday that in the course of all of this, there's been found that there was absolutely no provocation or justification for the death blossom or just the spewing of machine guns and grenades at the civilians that happened in that convoy.
Now, we can't speak about the guilt or innocence of any of the five defendants. However, what's clear is that a lot of people died, more than 20 were wounded. They were all innocent and no one was shooting at their convoy.
Now also, there is a message to be sent here to the other security firms still operating in Iraq and elsewhere that this won't be tolerated, and secondly, as the attorney for the District of Columbia said, the message here is that no one, even in war, is above the law.
And that's what the Iraqis needed to hear. They need to see this trial take place to help mend some of the fences on an already fragile relationship between the U.S. and the people who had been occupied here in Iraq - Kiran.
CHETRY: Right. And of course, as we said, their defense attorneys are maintaining their innocence and say that they are going to try to fight this.
Michael Ware for us in Baghdad. Thank you.