Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mercenaries Now Subject To US Military Law

Do not be misled by the headline, this is about Mercenaries; private armies, not about Haliburton and Bechtel. And now that the damage is done the military finally applies the Military Code of Justice to these creeps. And the media still calls them contractors, deliberately confusing the public about the fact that these guys are privatized military and security forces made up of ex military and CIA personnel. Iraq is the model of the new market state, complete with privatized armies.

A state that privatizes most of its functions will inevitably defend itself by employing its own people as mercenaries-with equally profound strategic consequences. " Phillip Bobbit

Accountability for Military Contractors Over the last few years, tales of private military contractors run amuck in Iraq — from the CACI interrogators at Abu Ghraib to the Aegis company's Elvis-themed internet "trophy video" — have continually popped up in the headlines.

Unfortunately, when it came to actually doing something about these episodes of Outsourcing Gone Wild, Hollywood took more action than Washington. The TV series Law and Order punished fictional contractor crimes, while our courts ignored the actual ones. Leonardo Dicaprio acted in a movie featuring the private military industry, while our government enacted no actual policy on it. But those carefree days of military contractors romping across the hills and dales of the Iraqi countryside, without legal status or accountability, may be over.

Getting tattled on to the boss is certainly fine for some incidents. But, clearly, it's not how one deals with suspected crimes. And it's nowhere near the proper response to the amazing, awful stories that have made the headlines (the most recent being the contractors who sprung a former Iraqi government minister, imprisoned on corruption charges, from a Green Zone jail).



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