Thursday, September 20, 2007

U.S.-Paid Mercenaries Kill 8 in Iraq

The New York Times today reported that employees of the private security company Blackwater USA, contracted by the United States government, fired on and killed at least eight Iraqi citizens on Sunday. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki called the incident "a crime," yet such private security companies are exempted from prosecution under current Iraqi law.

Regardless of the circumstances (and I recognize that I have no inside information or expertise by which to judge the circumstances of this particular incident), the use of mercenaries as proxy troops sets up an environment without accountability and violates the United Nations International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries, a 1990 convention never signed by the United States despite calls by religious organizations including The United Methodist Church to do so.

True Majority Action is providing a web page where people can send Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice the following message:

We insist that you stop using Blackwater employees as State Department guards, and follow the Iraqi government's demand that Blackwater leave the country.
Users can send custom messages along with the standard message above.

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