Rice, Gates Agree on Rules for Iraq Contractors

The Defense and State departments reached a general agreement Tuesday regarding oversight of security contractors.

Officials described the agreement as a general understanding that the military should have more oversight over how private guards operate.

The proposed change comes after news that the State Department had granted limited immunity to Blackwater employees involved in a deadly shootout last month in Iraq. Democrats accuse the Bush administration of failing to hold security contractors responsible for the incident in which at least 17 Iraqi civilians were killed.

The State Department maintains that any lawbreakers will be held to account. It appears that the investigators who offered the immunity may have been acting on their own accord.

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