Criminal Justice

House Moves to Expand Courts' Reach to War Contractors

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Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have approved a bill that, if enacted, will bring U.S. contractors in Iraq under the jurisdiction of American criminal courts.

That means private contractors, including the armed security force Blackwater USA, could face investigations by the FBI if there is alleged wrongdoing.

The House approved the bill 389 to 30 despite opposition from the White House, according to the New York Times. The House action comes on the heels of controversy over a Sept. 16 Blackwater shooting in Baghdad.

Critics complain that contractors operating in the Iraqi war zone are unaccountable because they operate beyond the bounds of American courts.

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