It will likely not be Congress but Americans armed with lawsuits who ultimately rein in Blackwater Worldwide and other U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Another Blackwater Mark

It will likely not be Congress but Americans armed with lawsuits who ultimately rein in Blackwater Worldwide and other U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Substantial jury awards have a way of doing that. (See: Aryan Nations, Catholic Church, et al).

Besides the ascending lawsuit by a Spokane woman and other military widows of men killed in the Blackwater 61 crash - a suit that got a big boost in federal court last month - the Center for Constitutional Rights has just won a key federal ruling against another contractor in a legal action over Abu Ghraib.

Like the Blackwater 61 case, the Center?s lawsuit against a private military contractor that helped run the notorious prison in Iraq should be heard by a jury of Americans, the court ruled, deciding the contractor was not -- like the military itself -- immune from civil suits back home. The action was filed in 2004 against CACI, whose employees worked as interrogators in the prison.

The Center and two other legal entities are also suing Blackwater for the alleged killing of up to 17 innocent Iraqi bystanders in September. No suits have been filed so far regarding a separate Christmas Eve 2006 shooting death involving a former Blackwater guard from Seattle, although Andrew Moonen remains the subject of an FBI investigation, his attorney says.

 
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