Blackwater banned

Looks as if Iraq has had as much unlawful-combatant activity as it’s going to tolerate.

Looks as if Iraq is getting serious about the problem of unlawful combatants. Blackwater’s fighters-for-hire aren’t subject to military discipline, which excludes them from the protections of the Geneva Conventions. They’re exempt from prosecution in Iraq under rules left over from CPA days. And recklessly killing people in Iraq violates no U.S. domestic law.

With 160,000 soldiers and Marines in Iraq, why does the State Department have to rely on overpriced hired help for the security of its staff there?

Update Remember when Republicans were backing a Green Party candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race to help save Rick Santorum? Guess who gave $5000 the cause? Why Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater. What a surprise! Here’s a full list of Prince’s beneficiaries, including the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee for a cool $20k just this summer.

Second update Barack Obama spoke out (cautiously) against the employment of Blackwater by DHS to patrol the streets of New Orleans after Katrina. In February, Obama introduced a bill to, as he put it, “bring contractors under the rule of law.”This sounds like a natural issue for him to pursue, doesn’t it?

Third update One of Romney’s official advisors on terrorism is Vice-Chairman of Blackwater.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: