Thursday, September 27, 2007

the problem isn't blackwater

i'm wondering what the message will be when we look back on the current controversy over private security contractors in iraq. will it be the idea that employing private security contractors who are not accountable to anyone is a bad idea? or will it be that blackwater is just a bad company?

the allegations against blackwater are the natural result of having heavily armed people in a war zone who are legally accountable to no one. attributing any negative consequences to a "bad apple" is ignoring the basic problem. blackwater may be the most extreme example. but until private security firms and their personnel can be penalized for bad behavior the problem will continue, even if blackwater is pulled out of iraq. there's good reason that the pentagon subjects u.s. soldiers to the uniform code of military justice.