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January 04, 2007

The law (way) east of the Pecos

This DefenseTech exclusive notes private militaries and embeds are now subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This thanks to an otherwise unremarked addition to the Pentagon's 2007 budget legislation, viz striking "war" and amending it to "declared war or a contingency operation".

The addition of five little words to a massive US legal code that fills entire shelves at law libraries wouldn't normally matter for much. But with this change, contractors' 'get out of jail free' card may have been torn to shreds.

I think it is six little words, actually, but such is to quibble. Let's hope Bill is paying attention; it looks like there is a marshal in Deadwood.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 4, 2007 07:07 AM


That should be covered already in the massive blanket definition of "war" that provides for any associated followups. Idiots.

Obviously, I should be running the country.

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 12:01 PM

I would argue that they SHOULD be subject to UCMJ if they're operating with Military forces. This will be interesting the next time a reporter is found with the wrong materials or is broadcasting information they should not broadcast.

Posted by: Montieth [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 01:56 PM

There is a heck of a lot of behaviour which would not occur to a civilian as being problematical that might conceivably be addressed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I am thinking specifically about regulations regarding fraternization and so forth. Not that I expect Bill will run into this as a particular problem...

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 02:20 PM