The State Department has promised immunity for Blackwater employees involved in last month's shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead.
This brings up two troubling questions at the outset:
1. Other than diplomatic immunity (and it has never been suggested that Blackwater Employees are diplomats) the State Department has no authority to grant immunity against prosecution in a U.S. court. That is the prerogative of the Justice Department. This could be the first real test of the new Attorney General, to see whether Mukasey points this fact out to the State Department and then how he proceeds from there;
2. The FBI is not yet done investigating, so the quickness of the State Department to grant immunity not only continues and expands on the unilateralism that has been a hallmark of George W. Bush's administration, but also suggests that they are hiding something and fear that a trial might bring it out into the open. What are they hiding?