Overseas Contractors Should Not Be Under US Law

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
644
#1
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/10/03/iraq.contractors/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration said Wednesday it opposes a bill that would bring private military contractors overseas under U.S. law, warning it would have "unintended and intolerable consequences" for national security.

Its sponsor, North Carolina Democratic Rep. David Price, said the bill would clear up questions such as those raised by last month's Baghdad shootings involving contractors from the U.S. security firm Blackwater USA.

Price introduced the measure in January, and the Judiciary Committee approved the bill in August.

The House of Representatives was expected to begin debate on the bill Wednesday afternoon, with a vote tentatively scheduled Thursday morning.

But the White House, in a formal statement of policy, said the measure would overburden the military, overstretch the FBI, intrude on prosecutorial decisions and extend federal jurisdiction overseas in ways that would be "impossible or unwise."

"The administration welcomes the opportunity to discuss these important issues further with Congress," the statement said.

The bill would state that contractors working for the U.S. government overseas are subject to the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which allows American courts to prosecute crimes committed in a war zone overseas.

The act covers contractors "supporting the mission of the Department of Defense."

But Blackwater is providing security to Department of State officials.

Wednesday, Price released a statement calling the Bush administration's objections unfounded.

The White House position "should infuriate anyone who believes in the rule of law," the statement read. "The fact is the administration has an embarrassing track record for investigating and prosecuting misconduct by contractors working in our name.

"This is precisely why we need to clarify the scope of the law and put FBI resources on the ground."

Foreign service analyst Peter Singer of the Brookings Institute -- who has studied the issue -- says the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act has been used once for an Iraq contractor and that was in a **** case.

Blackwater's founder and CEO Erik Prince told a House committee Tuesday the company supports Price's measure.

The White House said the bill would saddle the FBI with the responsibility of investigating deaths caused by private contractors overseas.

It would place "inappropriate and unwarranted burdens" on the Defense Department, which the administration said would be required to arrest contractors and support a specially created FBI unit that would investigate killings in a theater of war.

"The administration is concerned that this sweeping expansion of extraterritorial jurisdiction would create federal jurisdiction overseas in situations where it would be impossible or unwise to extend it," the White House said. "The bill would have unintended and intolerable consequences for crucial and necessary national security activities and operations."

Blackwater, the best-known security contracting firm working in Iraq, said its guards responded properly to an attack on a U.S. Embassy convoy September 16. But Iraqi authorities said Blackwater contractors fired indiscriminately at civilians, killing as many as 20 at two scenes in western Baghdad.

Another incident raised at Tuesday's session of the House Oversight and Governmental Affairs Committee involved a drunken Blackwater employee allegedly shooting and killing a bodyguard to Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi. Prince said the man was fined, fired and flown home from Iraq, and the company later paid $20,000 in compensation to the victim's family.

The Justice Department is investigating the case, but no charges have been brought, U.S. officials have said.

Prince defended his company's conduct in Iraq. But the committee's chairman, California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, said the U.S. reliance on private security firms in Iraq "is backfiring" by creating resentment of the contractors among Iraqis.

Under an order laid down by the U.S. occupation government in Iraq, U.S. contractors can't be prosecuted under Iraqi law. Prince said he believed that rule should stand.

"I'm not sure any foreigner would get a fair trial in Iraq right now," he said. "I think they'd at least get a fair trial here in the United States." E-mail to a friend
 

click

Registered User
Jan 5, 2005
558
#2
I was surprised when the government said that Blackwater is only used for protection and escort. I remember seeing a video of Blackwater snipers taking
out insurgents, which I have no problem with btw
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
644
#3
I was surprised when the government said that Blackwater is only used for protection and escort. I remember seeing a video of Blackwater snipers taking out insurgents, which I have no problem with btw
Exactly
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
848
#4
although im all for the slaughter of the enemy, the "corporate" war that is being run over there is a bit disturbing.
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
848
#5
From another article:
White House officials say they support increasing accountability of contractors abroad but worry that the House bill is too vague and may go too far. An administration statement Wednesday said the bill would have "unintended and intolerable consequences for crucial and necessary national security activities and operations."

But the statement did not explain further or give examples on how the bill would affect national security. The White House referred questions to the Justice Department, which declined comment.
Translation: "Let's say holding them accountable threatens national security in some unspecified way, and hopefully everyone will back off. If we're lucky, nobody will notice that we didn't say how or why it threatened national security."
 

Garyisajoke

I created FRED, fuckface. Show some respect.
Nov 20, 2005
0
#6
I read in the Raleigh News and Observer that on Christmas Eve, Blackwater had to sneak an employee out after drunkenly murdering a bodyguard to one of Iraq's Vice Presidents. Most of the contracts Blackwater won, they were the only bidder. Therefore, they have fucking idiots running around waving guns. The same article said that 90 percent of shootouts involving Blackwater employees, were STARTED by Blackwater employees.

Why shouldn't they be held accountable? We're trying to stabilize this place. Their job isn't to fight - their job is to protect. Fuck them.
 

BaLZaC~308

ONE OF THE COOL KIDS
Sep 27, 2006
141
#7
since when are mercenaries called contractors ?
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
848
#8
since when are mercenaries called contractors ?
i do beleve that started in the early 80's in africa, i watched a special on PBS about some of the civil wars and how the governments there paid to have there wars fought because they couldn't get there own natives to fight, so they hired outside security company's to do it, now mercs in africa were nothing new but the way they were structured was.
what bothers me the most about this is the corporate involvement, why is the most powerful army in the world paying outside company's to handle things that they should be. well thats simple enough really, the army has to follow rules of engagement, out side security doesn't, if it weren't for the mercs i think our death toll would be higher, you know there running missions that we legally cant but must be done,
 

UCFGavin

Registered User
Feb 25, 2006
0
#9
somehow this whole US government and blackwater situation reminds me of the romans when they paid savages to fight savages.
 

Creampier

I have to return some videotapes!
May 11, 2007
366
#10
i do beleve that started in the early 80's in africa, i watched a special on PBS about some of the civil wars and how the governments there paid to have there wars fought because they couldn't get there own natives to fight, so they hired outside security company's to do it, now mercs in africa were nothing new but the way they were structured was.
what bothers me the most about this is the corporate involvement, why is the most powerful army in the world paying outside company's to handle things that they should be. well thats simple enough really, the army has to follow rules of engagement, out side security doesn't, if it weren't for the mercs i think our death toll would be higher, you know there running missions that we legally cant but must be done,
I always think of Hank Scorpio when I hear about the mercs!
 

WaddleDoodle

Creepy? We're the CIA. It's what we do.
Mar 15, 2005
0
#12
I've been having this discussion in a couple of my international affairs classes, and the CIA officer teaching one brought up the interesting fact that there are over 100,000+ contractors in Iraq right now, and that if they were pulled out, the entire effort would collapse. It's not just Blackwater, it's cooks, drivers, etc.
 

abudabit

New Wackbag
Oct 10, 2004
0
#13
Shouldn't they be under the law of the country in which they are currently in?
 

ChimneyFish

Believe it or not, it's just meeee
Sep 10, 2005
648
#14
From another article:

Translation: "Let's say holding them accountable threatens national security in some unspecified way, and hopefully everyone will back off. If we're lucky, nobody will notice that we didn't say how or why it threatened national security."
My favorite thing about this:

"The White House referred questions to the Justice Department, which declined comment."

If that doesn't sum up this whole thing, I don't know what does.
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
673
#15
I just want to know what happened to the DSS. (Diplomatic Security Service)
 

TheDrip

I'm bi-winning.
Jan 9, 2006
228
#17
Call me crazy, but I feel that contractors should be held up to the laws of the country they're contracted in. The Blackwater ops should stand trial in Iraq. Fair or not, the outcome might deter Blackwater from randomly killing unarmed civilians, unprovoked.

If Blackwater doesn't like it, don't do business in that country.


You can bet your ass that if one of us was to go to Baghdad and 'accidentally' kill a civilian, or 20, we wouldn't be put on a plane and flown home first class.
 

Glenn Dandy

THE ONLY WHITE PRESIDENT LEFT.
Mar 21, 2005
298
#18
Shouldn't they be under the law of the country in which they are currently in?
So, If one of our soldiers looks at a married woman the husband should shoot him? Under Iraqie law?
No thanks... we are governed by American laws abroad... that why theres embassys.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
763
#19
What is one suppose to do when the "bad" guys hide amongst innocent civilians, including children?
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
848
#21
yep, if your going down for murder 1, then murder 100 is nothing, the out come is the same. black water is providing security for the Iraqi's because they cant trust there own people. the sooner the american public realizes what a cluster fuck this is the better
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
898
#22
They really need to consider their options here. I mean, merchandising!! Who wouldn't want Blackwater action figures?

Wait, what were we talking about?
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
848
#23
oh i would love to get a black water Tshirt
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
898
#24
Aug 10, 2007
0
#25
What is one suppose to do when the "bad" guys hide amongst innocent civilians, including children?
The contractors shouldn't be actively seeking "Bad" guys. They're there to perform civilian jobs and to protect diplomats. If we're going to use them as soldiers (Which we are) then they need to be tried in a military court.

This isn't Lethal Weapon 2.. you can't just randomly go into some other country and kill civilians. If we're gonna "allow" for that to happen, then the contractors needed to be treated like Soldiers.

And don't make this out to be a pity party for these fucks. They make more in a month then some do in a year.