Monday, September 12, 2005

Security Contractors In Iraq

Mayada Al-Askari said in her interview on this blog:

By the way, I honestly wish that US policy makers do understand that the US army itself is a truly "good" army, but the contractors inside that army are the cause of many many many sad stories.

Well, the sad stories have become more public after the Washington Post published an article about the security contractors in Iraq (Via Madtom):

IRBIL, Iraq -- The pop of a single rifle shot broke the relative calm of Ali Ismael's morning commute here in one of Iraq's safest cities.

Ismael, his older brother Bayez and their driver had just pulled into traffic behind a convoy of four Chevrolet Suburbans, which police believe belonged to an American security contractor stationed nearby. The back door of the last vehicle swung open, the brothers said in interviews, and a man wearing sunglasses and a tan flak jacket leaned out and leveled his rifle.

"I thought he was just trying to scare us, like they usually do, to keep us back. But then he fired," said Ismael, 20. His scalp was still marked by a bald patch and four-inch purple scar from a bullet that grazed his head and left him bleeding in the back seat of his Toyota Land Cruiser.
...
"These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There's no authority over them, so you can't come down on them hard when they escalate force," said Brig. Gen. Karl R. Horst, deputy commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, which is responsible for security in and around Baghdad. "They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place."
...
"People always say the Army did it, and even our police don't always know the difference," he said.

Read more...

I wasn't surprised about the information above. It's what followed that really surprised me:

Employees of private security firms are immune from prosecution in Iraq, under an order adopted into law last year by Iraq's interim government. The most severe punishment that can be applied to them is revocation of their license and dismissal from their job, U.S. officials said...

Huh! That's it! They must be kidding, right? If this is true, then someone needs to tell the Iraqi government of the Iraqi people who died so far because of incidents like the ones mentioned in the article.

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