WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 — Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16  
episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17  
Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were  
unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security  
contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials  
briefed on the case.

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The Blackwater Shooting

The F.B.I. investigation into the shootings in Baghdad is still under  
way, but the findings, which indicate that the company’s employees  
recklessly used lethal force, are already under review by the Justice  

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek indictments, and some  
officials have expressed pessimism that adequate criminal laws exist  
to enable them to charge any Blackwater employee with criminal  
wrongdoing. Spokesmen for the Justice Department and the F.B.I.  
declined to discuss the matter.

The case could be one of the first thorny issues to be decided by  
Michael B. Mukasey, who was sworn in as attorney general last week.  
He may be faced with a decision to turn down a prosecution on legal  
grounds at a time when a furor has erupted in Congress about the  
administration’s failure to hold security contractors accountable  
for their misdeeds. 

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