The House voted 389 to 30 to pass a bill that would make private contractors working for the U.S. government in Iraq subject to United States law. It’s the second time Congress has attempted to apply some sense to the legal vacuum created by the Bush administration and its Coalition Provisional Authority, which pushed through what amounts to blanket immunity for mercenaries.
Currently the legal status of private contractors working independently of the US military in war zones is unclear and legally untested.
Private firms working for the Department of Defence are subject to existing US legislation, but those private firms such as Blackwater working for the state department are not.
Democratic Representative David Price, who sponsored the bill, said it was hard to believe such a “gaping hole” existed in US law.