Do Private Military Contractors Have Impunity to Torture?
Human rights attorneys are headed back to court in the coming month to argue that, yes, victims of war crimes and torture by contractors should have a path to justice. Attorneys from...the Center for Constitutional Rights...are representing Iraqi civilians who were horribly tortured in Abu Ghraib and other detention centers in Iraq in seeking to hold accountable two private contractors for their violations of international, federal and state law...The cases, Al Shimari v. CACI and Al-Quraishi v. Nakhla and L-3 aim to secure a day in court for the plaintiffs, none of whom were ever charged with any crimes...However, after years of litigation, the allegations of torture by contractors in these cases have still never been seriously examined, much less ruled on, by the courts...They are also invoking a new, sweeping defense...The new rule is termed "battlefield preemption" and aims to eliminate any civil lawsuits against contractors that take place on any "battlefield."...There...must be consequences for these violations. If there are not, courts will essentially be saying anything goes...if you are a private military contractor.