Families of Iraqis who died in a shooting involving Blackwater USA sued the company charging it violated US law and encouraged a culture of lawlessness among its employees. The Center for Constitutional Rights which brought the suit on behalf of the families charged, “Blackwater has turned lawlessness into profit at the expense of the lives of innocent civilians.” Seventeen Iraqis died in the September 16th shooting. The lawsuit charges Blackwater should be held responsible for assault and battery, wrongful death, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, training and supervision of its personnel. The FBI is currently conducting an investigation of the shooting.
Iraqi officials claim Blackwater’s license to operate in iraq expired on June 2, 2006 and therefore it no longer has immunity against lawsuits. There is something wrong with an American military operation in which private companies can operate with impunity against law. In prior American wars, the military handled construction activities or provided security, but under the Bush program of privatizing war, the corporate world now occupies a prominent role in warfare. One can only wonder how secure fighting men and women feel when mercenaries are protecting them and bringing supplies instead of well trained soldiers. In WWII, the famous and outstanding Seabees handled construction and won universal praise for their work. Perhaps, it’s time to bring back the Seabees.