The New York times has identified the primary suspect in a federal investigation into the Blackwater massacre at Nissour square, one Paul Slough formerly of the Texas National Guard:
Through a review of case documents and interviews in Texas and Washington, The New York Times identified the gunner as Mr. Slough, a former infantry soldier who joined Blackwater Worldwide after his dreams of joining the Army Special Forces were quashed by recurring problems from an old football injury.
His story offers a rare look at the men employed by the impenetrable private security company with the highest rate of shootings in Iraq. Military officials and executives of other contracting companies have long complained that Blackwater hired younger, financially struggling recruits; encouraged a shoot-first culture, and then used the company’s deep political connections with the Bush administration to shield its guards from punishment when they killed innocent people. [NYT]
Slough was a member of a Blackwater convoy that killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Nissour Square on September 16, 2007. Slough and his colleagues claim that the convoy was under attack, but neither military nor civilian investigators are buying their story.