War Contractors May Actually Have to Follow the Law
The New York Times reports that in the midst of negotiating their continued presence in Iraq, the U.S. has made a potentially huge concession– U.S. government contractors would no longer have immunity from Iraq law. The Iraqi Foreign Minister said such an agreement was made yesterday, reversing an immunity provision drawn up in 2003 by Paul Bremer, then head of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Spencer has been blogging about these negotiations, and how they might lead to permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. But regardless of the negotiation’s final outcome, the stripping of immunity could be bad news for notorious contractors. These include Blackwater, whose private security guards opened fire on a public square killing 17, and KBR, whose faulty wiring of a military compound resulted in a soldier getting fatally electrocuted while showering.
There probably won’t be retroactive prosecution of these cases. But the next front-page contractor scandal could prompt the Iraqi government to use its new legal power.