Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley says private security firms in Iraq must be held to the same code of conduct standards as other law enforcement. The Democrat from Waterloo questioned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday during a hearing on the State Department’s handling of war issues.
Braley pointed to an incident where a Blackwater security firm employee shot and killed an Iraqi security guard, then the State Department offered to pay the family of the slain Iraqi $15,000. "It seems that if this government is paying $1,222 a day to Blackwater for the services of it’s employees, that a compensation of $15,000 for the life of an Iraqi, who is guarding the vice-president of Iraq, is a meaningless compensation," Braley stated.
Braley says a similar incident in the U.S. would have resulted in an arrest, a criminal conviction, and a prosecution. Rice admitted there is a hole in the current law that needs to be addressed regarding prosecution of private security officials.