Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reining in the Mercenaries

It is starting to look like the days of mercenaries running amok and committing wanton acts of violence and going on murderous rampages in Iraq might be coming to an end.

Amen and halle-freakin'-lujah!

And the checks are coming from all directions.

Reuters reported yesterday that a federal grand jury is investigating the murderous rampage by Blackwater that left 17 civilians dead on September 16th. ABC reported that several Blackwater guards had been subpoenaed to testify in the matter. The Washington Post reported today that it isn't just Blackwater that is facing scrutiny, but all security contractors.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, declined to say which incidents have been targeted, but he said the investigation ranges well beyond Blackwater. Private security companies in Iraq "have been shooting a lot of people," he said.

The Sept. 16 shootings at Baghdad's Nisoor Square provoked outrage within the Iraqi government, which moved to have Blackwater banned from the country, and led to several investigations, including a joint U.S.-Iraqi commission on the use of private security contractors.

FBI investigators have reportedly concluded that the killing of 14 of the 17 civilians was unjustified under State Department rules on the use of force. But the case is muddied by the question of what laws, if any, apply to security contractors operating under military, State Department and civilian contracts.

The grand jury will have to confront the accountability question, and there is quite a lot of debate swirling around that issue. Do Defense Department regulations cover State Department contractors? The murderous Blackwater thugs Blackwater employees involved int he Nisoor Square shooting were operating under a State Department contract.

The Iraqi's are getting a bit irate about the random, wanton violence directed at their citizens as well. On Monday, mercenaries from another company were involved in a shooting incident, and two mercs found themselves in Iraqi custody.

Once again, a convoy opened fire from behind as they approached slow-moving traffic on the wrong side of the road. One woman was wounded. Brigadier General Qassim al-Moussawi had the air of a man who has had more than enough "We have given orders to our security forces to immediately intervene in case they see any violations by security companies. The members of this security company wounded an innocent woman and they tried to escape the scene, but Iraq forces arrested them," al-Moussawi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

I say, good on 'em. And frankly, I don't want the mercenary bastards living on my block or in my building when they return.

No comments: