Security Firms in Iraq Face New Rules Rice Convened Group After Blackwater's Sept. 16 Gun Battle
By Karen DeYoung Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, October 24, 2007; A01
Private security contractors will continue to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq but will operate under closer supervision by U.S. Embassy officials and with clearer accountability for their actions, according to new rules approved yesterday by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Neither the U.S. military nor the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service is prepared to assume responsibility for guarding diplomats and other official U.S. civilians, according to a Rice-appointed review panel that recommended the changes. Instead, communications among the military, the embassy and the Iraqi government will be improved and a joint committee will investigate and judge all contractor incidents "involving the use of deadly force."
. . . it implicitly agreed with criticisms that the program is poorly conceived and supervised.
. . . Even if the FBI finds Blackwater at fault in the shootings and refers the matter to the Justice Department, no one has decided whether the contractors can be prosecuted under any U.S. law. "It's the grayest of gray areas," a senior U.S. law enforcement official said.
The farming out of security missions to armed mercenary thugs is merely item #7,264 among the things this administration paid no attention to, has no control over, never thought through and has unleashed without oversight or legal recourse.
#276, early in the Iraq debacle when administrative ignorance was just getting up to speed, was the disappearance of $9 billion in cash under L. Pail Bremer's watch. Not an amount you would normally fail to notice slipping out the door. In an accountable government, that would bring a prison term. In this one, it brings a Medal of Freedom.
Erik Prince, Blackwater owner-conspirator, is no doubt up for either the Medal or a full Bush pardon for all crimes before the prez leaves office.
With chaos, incompetence, thievery and killing going on at an unprecedented rate, the only group left without a 'get out of jail free' card are the American people. We'll be paying for these crimes for generations.
Along with everyone else in this OZ-like Bush-world, Americans have neither the personal interest or legislative representation to demand justice. Justice used to be more than a word in America, but that went out the same window that saw the last of Alberto Gonzales.
DOES NO ONE DEMAND ANYTHING OF ANYONE?