evil done in our names

Something Other Than Beer

Darcy Burner is running for Dave Reichert’s congressional seat.  That seat is in Washington State, so it’s a bit out of my normal purview, but Burner has been one of the leading figures in promoting the Responsible Plan — I learned about her via Orcinus a while back.  She put up a very good post at OpenLeft last week, on the genuine threat to American democracy posed by mercenary armies like Blackwater, DynCorp, Triple Canopy, etc., which are paid (and paid very well) by our government, ostensibly, to perform supporting duties for American troops.  In actual fact, these “contractors” are carrying out combat operations, and are frequently committing crimes — up to and including rape, murder, and torture — both against Iraqis and against other Americans, including their own coworkers.  On our dime, and in our names.  And because they’re not military personnel, and the US demanded, and the Iraqis had little choice but to accept, that “contractors” not be considered under the jurisdiction of Iraqi law, they operate in a legal vacuum.  They can’t be held to account for crimes they commit.

I’ve called the offices of my Representative and Senators, and asked them to cosponsor (respectively) H.R. 4102 and S. 2398, the House and Senate versions of the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, which would prevent further funding of mercenary armies.  I respectfully ask that the readers I optimistically imagine I might have read the OpenLeft post and the bills, and call or write your Congresspeople, and ask that they consider signing on as cosponsors.