Yesterday, the Associated Press ran the headline US Contractors Lose Immunity in Iraq Security Deal.
But, if what comes to your mind when you think of US contractors operating in Iraq with immunity is, for example, the indiscriminate shooting and killing of civilians by Blackwater personnel, read the fine print — the new assertion of joint Iraqi-US jurisdiction doesn’t apply to companies contracted by anyone other than the Defense Department.
This means Blackwater personnel working on a contract with the State Department — the same one under which Nisoor Sq killings occurred — are good to go with Iraqi immunity.
There are murmurings that US State Department contractors will be subject of similar, future agreements. It’s not clear why this agreement couldn’t have defined contractors more broadly to begin with.