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Dickinson interviewed on 'The World' on NPR

December 10, 2008
Laura A. Dickinson, Foundation Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and Faculty Director of the Center for Transnational Public-Private Governance, was interviewed about the Blackwater case recently on PRI's The World radio program on National Public Radio. 

In the interview, on Monday, Dec. 8, reporter Jeb Sharp discussed with Dickinson the issues surrounding the five Blackwater security guards indicted in the deaths of unarmed civilians in Baghdad last year.
The men are charged in connection with the shooting deaths of unarmed civilians in Baghdad in September. The case provoked outrage in Iraq and underscored the lack of oversight for independent contractors working in Iraq.

"The statute says that contractors can be tried in U.S. courts if their employment relates to supporting a Department of Defense mission," Dickinson told Sharp. "And these contractors were employed by the State Department. And so the question is, in a broad sense, was their work supporting the overall mission of the Defense Department in Iraq?

"I think you can make a plausible argument that they were, but it's not crystal clear under the law."

Listen to the full story, at

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law