On July 18, 2006, four employees of Triple Canopy, an American security- provision contract firm, embarked on the dangerous convoy route in downtown Baghdad colloquially known as "Route Irish." Their assignment was to escort an employee of the military-service provision firm KBR, Inc. from the Baghdad International Airport to the relative security of the Green Zone. According to statements made by three of the Triple Canopy employees, during the trip to the airport, the fourth contractor, who had previously commented that he "wanted to kill someone today," opened fire on a presumably civilian truck that was approaching the contractor's convoy at an unthreateningly low speed. The contractors made no effort to determine whether any civilians were injured in the incident, but proceeded to the airport to meet the arriving KBR executive. On the return trip to the Green Zone, some of the Triple Canopy contractors noticed an ambulance at the scene of the earlier shooting; the same contractors claim that the employee that fired on the truck ordered them not to mention the incident to anyone. Furthermore, rather than stop to determine what damage had been caused in the previous incident, the convoy continued toward its destination at high speed. Further along Route Irish, the convoy overtook a civilian taxi, which was traveling at "a normal speed" and was not "any danger" to the convoy. According to witnesses, the contractor involved in the earlier incident commented, "I've never shot anyone with my pistol before," and proceeded to fire several shots into the taxi's windshield. Although the members of the convoy were unable to tell whether the driver of the taxi-a man they described as "in his 60's or 70's"-was injured, one later recalled that the taxi came to an abrupt stop. Some of the contractors later heard that the cab driver had been killed. [CONT]
"Professional Military Firms under International Law,"
Chicago Journal of International Law:
1, Article 9.
Available at: http://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cjil/vol9/iss1/9