Editor, Daily Nexus,
Congress has done the opposite of what Jeff Dulgar wrote in his recent column (“Blame Congress for Contractor Critique,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 13). After it surfaced that employees of the private military contractor firm DynCorp International were involved in a sex slave trade while working in the Bosnian War, Congress sought to enact strict measures to hold contractors to the Uniform Code of Military Justice while operating under the commanding theater during engagement. This resulted in the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000, allowing contractors to be charged under UCMJ and American laws by the Dept. of Justice for misconduct reported by the theater commander. However, it was not until December 2005 that the Dept. of Defense put into effect the regulations of MEJA. Prior to this, contractors were absent of oversight and since then, only twice have charges been issued – once for a stabbing and the other for possession of child pornography.
As Mr. Dulgar points out, Blackwater has a track record for alleged misconduct. Congress does not have the power to oversee this. Once misconduct is brought to and reported by the theater commander, it is the job of the Dept. of Defense inspector general operating under MEJA to investigate allegations and inform the attorney general of the suspicion that a crime has been committed.
Our military cannot fight this war while baby-sitting this “coalition of the billing”, who expect to report solely to the person writing their paycheck.