Our American security contractors have certainly been keeping themselves busy. This time it's DynCorp, not Blackwater, that's killing innocent Iraqi civilians.
An Iraqi taxi driver was shot and killed on Saturday by a guard with DynCorp International, a private security company hired to protect American diplomats here, when a DynCorp convoy rolled past a knot of traffic on an exit ramp in Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said Sunday.
Three witnesses said the taxi had posed no threat to the convoy, and one of them, an Iraqi Army sergeant who inspected the car afterward, said it contained no weapons or explosive devices.
"They just killed a man and drove away," Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said in his office on Sunday afternoon.
It's unbelievable! This is democracy? This is justice? This is freedom? The "liberated" Iraqi people have to live in constant fear of being gunned down by rogue American gunslingers who are entirely above the law, and they're supposed to thank us!
And our response--our answer to the grieving family--can only be described as baffling.
Both the State Department and DynCorp confirmed that there had been a shooting involving one of the company’s convoys on Saturday. Possibly because the convoy sped away after the shooting, neither the company nor the State Department could immediately confirm that Mr. Khudair [the cab driver] had been killed.
But Gregory Lagana, a DynCorp spokesman, said the details of the encounter in which Mr. Khudair died appeared to match the one in which DynCorp guards reported discharging a weapon on Saturday. "We’re assuming it’s the same incident," he said.
Mr. Lagana said the DynCorp guards reported that they were unaware that they had wounded or killed anyone.
"We knew that we had fired at the front of the vehicle," he said. "We were kind of surprised that there was a death."
So let me summarize the official response:
You can't confirm that Mr. Khudair was killed. You have a busy highway full of people, including an NCO in the Iraqi Army, and you can't confirm that you killed a man because you fled the scene of the crime.
You assume that your mercenaries were protecting the convoy in question at that time, but, of course, you can't be sure. (I could almost believe that excuse since there are other American mercenaries out there who have killed innocents before.)
And then there's this: one of your mercenaries fired at the driver's side of a car and you're surprised that someone was killed.
DynCorp, Blackwater, and all the others are a stain on the honor of this great nation. If we are to retain any credibility with Iraq and the rest of the international community of which we claim to be a part, all private security contractors need to be stripped of their immunity under Iraqi and American law, prosecuted for their crimes (that is, before they are "accidentally" offered immunity by the State Department), and removed from Iraq. It is the only honorable thing that we can do.
(Cross-posted at CrazyDrumGuy)