Private contractors and other civilians serving with U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan could be subject for the first time to military courts-martial under a new federal provision that legal scholars say is almost certain to spark constitutional challenges.
The provision, which was slipped into a spending bill at the end of the last Congress, is intended to close a long-standing loophole that critics say puts contractors in war zones above the law.
But the provision also could affect others accompanying U.S. forces in the field, including civilian government employees and embedded journalists.
But, hey- you don’t have anything to worry about if you aren’t doing anything wrong!
One additional complication lies in determining who the new provision applies to. Graham said the change was aimed solely at holding contractors accountable. But legal observers say it could be interpreted broadly to also include employees with other government agencies, as well as reporters.
“One could imagine a situation in which a commander is unhappy with what a reporter is writing and could use the UCMJ to pressure the reporter,” said Phillip E. Carter, a contracting lawyer with McKenna Long & Aldridge.
But that would never happen. No one would call someone and Enemy of the State simply because they disagreed with them.
On a serious note, how long is it going to take to clean up all the bullshit like this that the so-called conservatives have inserted into laws over the past 6 years? How much damage has really been done?