Good news in contracting fraud

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As it turns out, contractors in Iraq who worked for the Coalition Provision Authority (CPA) may not, in fact, be above the law after all. That was the outcome of a Friday ruling against Custer Battles, a private contractor that has been accused of fraud by former employees. Lawyers for the company had claimed that the U.S. had no jurisdiction over the fraud case because the CPA was akin to a sovereign entity. But under that logic, contractors would also have been exempt from Iraqi law, meaning that country would have the legal means to battle contractor corruption.

The ruling sets an important precedent, and aids the Justice Department’s efforts to sue CPA contractors in US courts under anti-war profiteering laws. It’s also an important win for attorneys like Alan Grayson, who is currently representing former Custer Battles employees. But even though the ruling is a positive step towards enforcing accountability among contractors, another lawyer, Victor Kubli “the [Justice Department’s] brief raises the ‘pregnant question’ of why U.S. officials originally said CPA contracts were not covered by the U.S. anti-fraud law.” Why, indeed.

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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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