The United States is riding roughshod over human rights by outsourcing key anti-terror work in Iraq to private contractors, who operate beyond Iraqi law and outside the military chain of command, Amnesty International said Tuesday.
It called for tighter rules on the use of contractors in a statement released with its 2006 annual report detailing human rights violations in 150 countries around the world. The rights watchdog said contracting for military detention, security and intelligence operations had fueled violations.
“We’re concerned about the use of private contractors in Iraq because it creates a legal black hole of responsibility and accountability,” Amnesty’s Secretary-General Irene Khan told AP Television News.
Fighter jets collide over Aegean Sea
Warplanes from Greece and Turkey collided over the Aegean Sea as they shadowed each other Tuesday in disputed airspace, and officials said the Turkish pilot was rescued unhurt.
There were conflicting reports on the fate of the Greek pilot. A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said the Greek pilot had died, but officials in Athens said a rescue operation was still under way.
The two F-16 fighter jets collided over international waters near the island of Karpathos after two Greek jets intercepted two Turkish warplanes, military officials from both countries said.
Fighter planes from the two NATO members frequently intercept each other over the Aegean, mostly in areas of disputed airspace.
Man’s alcohol level twice fatal amount
Lithuanian police were so astonished by a breath test that registered 18 times the legal alcohol limit, they thought their device must be broken.
Police said Tuesday 41-year-old Vidmantas Sungaila registered 7.27 grams per liter of alcohol in his blood repeatedly on different devices after he was pulled over Saturday for driving his truck down the center of a two-lane highway 60 miles from Vilnius.
Lithuania’s legal limit is 0.4 grams per liter. Medical experts say anything above 3.5 grams per liter of alcohol in the blood is lethal for most people.
Sungaila, who was slapped with a $1,110 fine and the loss of his license for up to three years, told police he had been drinking the night before and tried to freshen up by downing a pint of beer for breakfast.