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SCHAKOWSKY UNVEILS BILL TO PHASE OUT PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS

Dear Colleague (2007-10-02) Jan Schakowsky

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For Immediate Release: October 2, 2007 Contact: Peter Karafotas (202) 226-6898

SCHAKOWSKY UNVEILS BILL TO PHASE OUT PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), member of the House Intelligence Committee, announced legislation today to phase out the use of private military contractors over the next five years. Congresswoman Schakowsky participated in today’s Government Reform Committee hearing on Blackwater and other private security firms in Iraq. Schakowsky had an opportunity to question the witnesses including Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater.

“The last straw was when Blackwater allegedly killed 11 Iraqi civilians last month. I believe that we should phase out the use of private military contractors and return these responsibilities to uniformed military personnel who are clearly accountable for their actions,” said U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky. “The reckless and lethal activities of private security contractors have jeopardized our mission in Iraq and put our troops in harm’s way by increasing hostility against Americans. Without a system in place to ensure accountability and oversight, we cannot allow contractors to continue to operate in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Congresswoman Schakowsky circulated the following “Dear Colleague” today after participating in the Government Reform Committee’s hearing on Blackwater.

PHASE OUT PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS

Become an Original Cosponsor of a New Bill to Return Security Functions to the Military

October 2, 2007

Dear Colleague:

I would like to invite you to join me in supporting a new bill which would responsibly phase out the use of private military contractors for functions that should be reserved for U.S. military forces. Recent killings of Iraqi civilians have highlighted the problems created when private military contractors perform inherently governmental security functions.

There are numerous reasons why we should not allow private contractors to perform services that should be undertaken by military personnel. Too often private contractors act as if they are outside or above the law. They are not accountable to the military but their actions often put our brave military men and women at risk. They are given immunity from the laws of the countries in which they operate. The employees of private contractors are often put at risk when companies motivated by profit send them into lethal situations without the training or equipment they need. Finally, private military contractors often hire foreign mercenaries from countries that may work against America’s interests.

My bill recognizes that our armed forces have been so overtaxed that it is not possible to immediately eliminate the use of private contractors for functions that should be reserved for U.S. military personnel. However, it puts us on the path of restoring military functions to the military. The legislation would prohibit the use of private contractors for military, security, law enforcement, and armed rescue functions after 2012 unless the President tells Congress why the military is unable to perform those functions.

To join me as an original cosponsor or for more information, please contact Megan Garcia of my staff at 5-2111 or megan.garcia@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

__________________ Rep. Jan Schakowsky

Media Form edit

Title SCHAKOWSKY UNVEILS BILL TO PHASE OUT PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS
Publisher Dear Colleague
Author Jan Schakowsky
Pub Date 2007-10-02
Media Link
Note
Keywords Blackwater
Media Type News Release
Book ISBN
Author Name Sortable
Topic revision: r1 - 2007-10-03, RaymondLutz
 

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