February 23, 2010, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement in response to the introduction in Congress of the Stop Outsourcing Security legislation by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL) in the House and the companion bill by Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) in the Senate:
Military contracting is out of control. Contractors far outnumber the U.S. military in Afghanistan, making it the most contracted out war in US history. Poor oversight of contracts has led to billions of taxpayer dollars being wasted in what Congress’s own Commission on Wartime Contracting has called “fiscal hemorrhaging.” It is also extremely difficult to hold these shadow armies accountable for serious abuses committed.
CCR has been representing Iraqi plaintiffs in litigation against U.S. contractors since 2004. Despite allegations of grave human rights abuses at the hands of U.S. private military contractors in Iraq, former Iraqi detainees who have been tortured or otherwise abused have yet to have their day in court. Over the last five years, contractors’ arguments that they should be granted immunity or that lawsuits brought against them are somehow improper have stalled efforts by CCR and co-counsel to hold these contractors accountable.
Every member of Congress should support this legislation to defend the human rights of all people from contractors, to protect taxpayer money from fraud and waste, and return core governmental functions to the government.
CCR has represented victims against the private military contractors CACI and Titan/L-3 for their alleged role in the torture and other abuse of more than 250 Iraqi plaintiffs at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers throughout Iraq, and victims of Blackwater shootings in Iraq. For information on the cases, visit our CACI case page and our Blackwater case page. For information on our campaign to end the use of private military contractors, visit the Stand Down page.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.