Assuming the Washington Post is correct, it appears that the Department of Justice may be close to indicting some Blackwater security guards for a shooting that happened last year in Iraq.
The DOJ would bring charges under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA).
The Congressional Budget Office issued a report recently about the use of contractors in Iraq. In that report, the CBO said, amongst other things, that “MEJA does not apply to civilians working…for federal departments or agencies other than DOD.”
The Blackwater security guards were working as security contractors for the Department of State.
Some argue that MEJA does not cover the Blackwater security guards, and thus DOJ cannot bring charges against the guards for the alleged incident last year in Iraq. Others argue that the 2005 amendment to MEJA expanded its’ provisions to include contractors “supporting the mission of the Department of Defense,” and thus the contractors are subject to prosecution under MEJA.
What do you think?