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Dems Seek Contractor Accountability

Posted May 14, 2007 10:39 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Democrats are pushing for more prosecutions of private contractors who commit violent crimes in Iraq.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D.-Ill., is sponsoring legislation requiring the administration to publish contractor data. “There are almost as many contractors in Iraq as soldiers, and they seem to be entirely outside the reach of the law," she told the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

No charges have been brought against a technician for Blackwater USA who killed an Iraqi security guard on Christmas Eve. A Justice Department spokeswoman refused to say if charges are pending.

A new law allows contract workers to be tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but it has not been used against any U.S. contractors, the newspaper says.

A contractor for the Central Intelligence Agency who was found guilty last year in the beating of an Afghan detainee was prosecuted under a different law.

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