Might we see the first war crimes indictments handed out for alleged atrocities committed in Iraq by US citizens?
U.N. officials said Thursday they will be looking into whether war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in recent shootings of Iraqi civilians by U.S.-hired contractors, and they urged U.S. authorities to hold private security firms accountable for unjustified killings of Iraqis.Hmmm, maybe. But the Bush administration would have to live up to its international obligations - something it has a poor-to-atrocious track record on in any case - by prosecuting employees of some of the GOP's biggest contributors. Don't hold your breath.
"For us, it's a human rights issue," said Ivana Vuco of the U.N. Assistance Mission to Iraq. "We will monitor the allegations of killings by security contractors and look into whether or not crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed. "
Said Arikat, the U.N. mission spokesman, urged the U.S. government to hold those involved in indiscriminate shootings of Iraqis "to the bar, to apply the rules of engagement and prosecute them."
The comments came as UNAMI released its quarterly human rights report in Baghdad, dealing mainly with the country's deepening humanitarian crisis but also noting the shooting incidents involving guards protecting U.S. government-funded work.
...Vuco said international humanitarian rights law applies equally to contractors who work for the mostly Western firms providing security to diplomats and aid groups as it does to other parties in a conflict.
"We will be stressing that in our communications with U.S. authorities. This includes the responsibility to investigate to supervise and prosecute those accused of wrongdoing," she said at a news conference in Baghdad.
"There cannot be rogue elements that are above the law. Definitely, we will be driving that point home time and again," Arikat said.