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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, email@example.com
More from Scott Horton:
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.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Minimum number of cats fitted with high-tech listening equipment in a 1967 CIA project:
Zoologists suggested that apes and humans share an ancestor who laughed.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”