Will Sect. of State Clinton Ban Private Contractors?

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In the presidential primaries, Hillary Clinton frequently touted her tough-as-nails stance on private contractors. She was the co-sponsor of the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, which, in her words, would keep firms like Blackwater from performing “combat-oriented and security functions in Iraq.” Blackwater employees could keep slinging slop in cafeteria under Clinton’s bill, but they couldn’t get themselves into horrifying situations like the Nisour Square shooting.

Justin Elliot of Talking Points Memo reports that part of that bill (which did not see any success in the Senate) instructed the Secretary of State to remove private contractors from their posts guarding State Department personnel:

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall ensure that all personnel at any United States diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq are provided security services only by Federal Government personnel.

Now that Clinton is about to take over at Foggy Bottom, she can either institute this rule without getting congressional approval or can prod Congress into taking the Stop Outsourcing Security Act more seriously. But Elliot reports that there is no indication she will do either. Clinton’s Senate office isn’t answering any questions about Clinton’ current position on the use of private forces in Iraq. This may mean that Clinton doesn’t want to steal Obama’s thunder by appearing to make policy, or it could mean that Clinton’s anti-contractor pledge in the primaries was simply campaign bombast. We’ll soon know.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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