Private security contractors have been involved in scores of shootings in Iraq, but none have been prosecuted despite findings in at least one fatal case that the men had not followed proper procedures, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Times.
Let’s call them what they are, mercenaries. Thugs with guns available to the highest bidder.
Instead, security contractors suspected of reckless behavior are sent home, sometimes with the knowledge of U.S. officials, raising questions about accountability and stirring fierce resentment among Iraqis.
The contractors function in a legal gray area. Under an order issued by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority that administered Iraq until June 2004, contractors suspected of wrongdoing are to be prosecuted in their home countries.
Well isn’t that a cosy little arrangement. A hired gun murders an innocent Iraqi and Iraq can’t prosecuted – and the chances of prosecution once returned to the States are slim and none.
The Defense Department has denied a Times request to provide the names of the private security contractors in the reports and has yet to release an untold number of additional reports. The Times has filed a federal lawsuit seeking the release of all such reports and security company identities.
Good. I bet the awarding of contracts is a rat’s nest of corruption and kickbacks too.