Private soldiers no longer above the law

A Hughes 500 helicopter operated by the US private security company Blackwater provide cover for a US ground convoy in Baghdad
A helicopter operated by the US private security company Blackwater provides cover for a US ground convoy in Baghdad. Photograph: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images
 

The House of Representatives today passed a bill to end the immunity of private security companies such as Blackwater in war zones.Blackwater, at the centre of a controversy over the killing of at least 11 civilians in Baghdad last month, is, like the other 170 private security companies operating in the country, subject to neither US nor Iraqi law.

The House bill closes this loophole. It secured the support of both Democrats and Republicans and was passed with an overwhelming majority, 389 to 30.

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