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Confronting TortureEssays on the Ethics, Legality, History, and Psychology of Torture Today$
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Scott A. Anderson and Martha C. Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226529387

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226529554.001.0001

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Tortured Prosecutions: Holding Private Military Contractors Accountable

Tortured Prosecutions: Holding Private Military Contractors Accountable

Chapter:
(p.320) Chapter 14 Tortured Prosecutions: Holding Private Military Contractors Accountable
Source:
Confronting Torture
Author(s):

Garrett Ordower

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226529554.003.0015

This chapter argues that the vast increase in the U.S. use of military contractors to fight the War on Terror has created the potential for illegality and abuse by U.S. military contractors but little ability to hold them accountable. Exemplifying this is the difficulty that the U.S. faced in prosecuting Blackwater employees for their massacre of Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in the course of providing security services for the U.S. State Department. Due to the lack of extraterritorial jurisdiction over the activities of many such contractors, the laws that apply to military personnel, such as the UCMJ and the MEJA, do not provide grounds for criminal or civil actions against contractors in many actual and possible circumstances. This chapter reviews the possibilities for using MEJA, SMTJ, ATS, UCMJ, the Anti-torture Statute, and foreign law against rogue or criminal contractors, and finds holes in the scope of each for securing justice. The chapter goes on to consider some recent proposals, such as the Civil Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Statute (CEJA) and extensions to existing law, to plug the gaps that make it difficult to prosecute or sue contractors for acts such as torture.

Keywords:   Alien Tort Statute, Anti-torture Statute, extraterritorial jurisdiction, MEJA, military contractors, Nisour Square massacre, SMTJ, torture, UCMJ, War on Terror

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