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House Rep to introduce bill to ban private security contractors

By Oliver VanDervoort     Jan 14, 2010 in Politics
A House Democrat is planning to introduce a bill that would ban private security contractors, including Blackwater, from US military and intelligence operations.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, out of Illinois, has begun circulating a letter to her fellow congressmen asking them to sign on to the Stop Outsourcing Security (SOS) Act, which would "responsibly phase out the use of private security contractors for functions that should be reserved for US military forces and government personnel," according to the letter.
In the letter, Schakowsky admits that current, and past controversies surrounding companies like Blackwater were a driving force behind her initiative.
"As illustrated by the recent dismissal of the case against the Blackwater guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, prosecution of private security contractors who commit severe abuses remains exceedingly difficult," Schakowsky wrote.
After reports surfaced last November that Blackwater, and companies like them were being used to carry out missions usually reserved for government intelligence services, Schakowsky wrote on her website that, "what appears to be a deep relationship between Blackwater and the CIA should cause all Americans to take pause. It is extremely dangerous for the US to become dependent on private contractors for military or intelligence operations.”
Schakowsky has taken on banning private security firms from working this closely from the government before. In 2007, she introduced a bill that would ban the military from using private contractors. The bill received just two other votes, from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and then Senator Hilary Clinton.
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