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War Damages in Iraq

by William Brinton Thursday, Mar. 03, 2005 at 3:59 PM

Gulf War One soldiers denied justice by the courts and the Bush Administration

U.S. Representative Tom Allen (R) - Maine, said the war was “not justified, but to abandon Iraq and its people now would be a mistake.” Senator Susan Collins (R) - Maine, said that going to war in Iraq was “a problem of faulty intelligence, but the chaos in Iraq required us to stay.” Senator Olympia Snowe (R) - Maine, blamed Saddam Hussein as the revised apparent rationale for invading Iraq, and she focused on the need for global support for U.S. efforts in Iraq. U.S. Representative Michael Michaud (R) - Maine, agreed with Snowe.

Those answers translate that we got there by mistake, and we are staying there by mistake. There is no plan, there is no discussion and there is no leadership. Didn't we go into Iraq to protect ourselves from weapons of mass destruction and because of Iraq's connections with the terrorists? Those reasons have been found to be utterly in error. There was never a time when Bush was actually telling the truth about the invasion of Iraq, which began on March 20, 2003. Iraq was never a threat to the United States, imminent or otherwise.

The invasion of Iraq had false, irrational underpinnings. Richard Ben Veniste, a member of the 9-11 Commission that dramatically expanded its jurisdiction over the investigation of the September 11 attacks, said the “communication problems illustrate that coordination remains a concern that must be resolved by senior administration officials.” They include the new National Intelligence Director, John Negroponte, a diplomat with some thirty years of experience. Another recently appointed official is Alberto Gonzalez, the new Attorney General of the United States. He was serving as Counsel to the President at the time of his promotion.

Worth noting is the history of a civil case---Acree et al v. Iraq and the United States and Iraq (Civil Action No. 03—1549 ) RWR. This case involves a nearly billion judgment for compensation in favor of U.S. POWs captured and tortured in Iraq during the first Gulf War. The Bush Administration is fighting the decision (saying Iraq should not have to compensate the POWs), after ignoring the lawsuit when it was first filed in 2002.

Plaintiffs herein are appellees who filed the action “under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) seeking to attach funds from certain Iraqi bank accounts located in the United States. The government opposes the attachment, arguing that the funds are now unavailable and has moved for summary judgment. Because the Congress and the President of the United States have acted to make TRIA inapplicable to Iraq….” Defendant John Snow, Secretary of the Treasury, “is entitled to summary judgment on plaintiffs' TRIA claim.”

An opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment filed by Circuit Judge Edwards was prepared showing that the District Court had “entered its judgment for appellees in the amount of 9 million. See Acree v. Republic of Iraq , 271 F. Supp 2d 179 (D.D.C. 2003) Acree and joined by Circuit Judges Edwards, Tatel and Richard Roberts. Two weeks later the United States District Court entered its judgment for appellees and the United States filed a motion to intervene for the purpose of contesting the District Courts' subject matter jurisdiction claim. There is very little reporting of this story in mainstream media.

The administration's version of reality is further exemplified by claims of an electoral “mandate” made by Bush's supporters. None was as bizarre as the one offered by John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped draft the cynical justifications for the illegal detention and torture of “unlawful combatants”. “The debate is over”, Mr. Yoo told the New Yorker, adding: “the issue is dying out. The public has had its referendum.” Its hard to know what is most outrageous about these comments, that Mr. Yoo actually believes Americans voted for torturing prisoners or that as an official at the heart of this appalling mess feels secure enough to say that. The White House has done everything it can to bury the issue. Nearly a year after the Abu Ghraib scandal the Bush administration still drags its feet on public disclosure, stonewalls Congressional requests for documents and suppresses the results of internal investigations.

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