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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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