On Power without Accountability

by F.

The US Congress did something right. Maybe:

Congress recently passed legislation bringing defence contractors under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in a move that could have significant ramifications for the ­estimated 100,000 private defence contractors in Iraq….

Private military contractors in Iraq [now] face the possibility of court martial….

Why does this matter?

In recent years, the Pentagon has increasingly relied on contractors in an effort to cut costs and increase flexibility. But the role of private defence contractors in Iraq came under scrutiny in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal after it emerged that the Central Intelligence Agency used them for interrogations.

Some question whether the law is necessary; apparently the “Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 already allows the prosecution of contractors.”

More in the FT.