Sunday, March 1, 2009
Aaron Zelinsky, a second year student at Yale Law School (and a regular reader of International Law Prof Blog), has shared with us a great piece he wrote for the Huffington Post about the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 and closing the legal loophole for Blackwater. Here is an excerpt from his article:
There are currently more civilian contractors in Iraq than members of the United States Army. The most infamous is the private security force, Xe (The-Firm-Formerly-Known-as-Blackwater). Xe has approximately 1000 military contractors in Iraq who guard U.S. government installations and personnel.
Because of a legislative loophole, Xe and many of its fellow contractors currently operate outside of both U.S. and Iraqi law. While contractors employed by the Department of Defense are answerable to the domestic laws of the United States, contractors employed by civilian departments are not necessarily accountable under U.S. law. Congress and President Obama should act immediately to rectify this problem.