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Enhancing Accountability for Private Security Contractors at War
Friday, February 8th, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Capitol Building, Senate Side, Room SC4, Washington, DC
Panelists will discuss the current lack of accountability private security contractors operating on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world, and offer a number of practical recommendations for addressing and correcting this increasingly dangerous situation.
Kevin Lanigan, Director, Human Rights First’s Law & Security Program
Scott Horton, Adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia University
James Cockayne, International Peace Academy
Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USAR (Ret.)
Kevin Lanigan and Scott Horton are the authors of a recent Human Rights First report, “Private Security Contractors at War: Ending the Culture of Impunity” (January 2008). James Cockayne, who formerly served as Director of the Australian Attorney-General’s Transnational Crime and Extradition Units and has worked on war crimes trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and in Sierra Leone, has been involved in research and policy development initiatives on the private security sector for four years, and currently co-manages the International Peace Academy’s Coping with Crisis research and policy-development program. Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USAR (Ret.), former Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, currently practices law in New York City with Anderson, Kill & Olick, P.C.
The panelists will present a briefing on the basic legal framework under which private security contractors operate; impediments to holding contractors criminally responsible for serious crimes committed abroad; the institutional failures of the U.S. government to establish an effective system for holding contractors legally accountable; and the consequences of these failures to U.S. national security, and to the safety of local civilians, American troops and the contractors themselves. The panelists will also discuss several immediate, practical recommendations for addressing these failures, as well as broader issues posed by the U.S. government’s increasing reliance on private security contractors.
For additional information or media inquiries, please contact:
Devon Chaffee, (202) 370-3306, firstname.lastname@example.org
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount of U.S. military aid given to the government of El Salvador each minute during the 1980s:
A team of European sexologists reported that 40 percent of Italian couples were not having sex, due in part to Italian men’s declining sex drive and growing predilection for prostitutes and cybersex.
Telecommunications company AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion in a bid to find new ways to reach consumers, and hackers took control of Internet-connected cameras and baby monitors to overwhelm the routing company Dyn with traffic, causing worldwide disruption to outlets such as Netflix and Amazon.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."