Wednesday, September 26, 2007

US contractors don't operate 'above the law'

Those who say private security contractors are operating "above the law" don't seem to know very much about the laws and regulations already on the books that govern the profession.

Mark Hemingway writes in the National Review Online, "The truth is that contractors are not above the law, but rather well within the reach of several different codes and regulations and nobody’s exactly sure how one would go about exacting legal remedies against them should they be needed.

"The change regarding the [Unifoorm Code of Military Justice] UCMJ was inserted into the 2007 Defense Authorization Act by Senator Lindsay Graham who noted that the change would “give military commanders a more fair and efficient means of discipline on the battlefield. The provision clarifies the Uniform Code of Military Justice to place civilian contractors accompanying the Armed Forces in the field under court-martial jurisdiction during contingency operations as well as in times of declared war.”

Senator Graham is a reserve Joint Advocate General (JAG) officer.

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