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Democrats: Blackwater not held accountable in civilian deaths

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats criticized the Bush administration today for giving immunity to bodyguards with North Carolina-based Blackwater USA. The State Department's investigators initially promised to shield the bodyguards' statements in the criminal inquiry of the September 16th shootings. The State Department says any lawbreakers must be held accountable. The inquiry has since been taken over by the Justice Department and FBI. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy called the immunity deal an example of "the amnesty administration." Leahy says the Bush administration disregards accountability, whether for misconduct or incompetence. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to know if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice knew about the immunity offers and agreed with them. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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