Pentagon pushes for more contractor immunity in Iraq.

As the Bush administration prepares to “renegotiate a long-term bilateral security agreement” with Iraq, a “deal-breaker for the Iraqis is contractor immunity” of the type that allowed Blackwater guards to escape punishment after killing 17 Iraqis in a Baghdad shoot-out. But “in interagency discussions arranged in preparation for the start of negotiations, the Department of Defense has said it wants to ask the Iraqis to maintain status quo.” The State Department “has argued strongly against that position.”