I came across this story late, but it has to be one of the most bizarre and sad stories I’ve read in awhile. It’s worth subscribing to the LA Times website to read the whole thing, but in summary, this is what’s happening:
2002: 17 POWs from the 1991 Gulf War filed a lawsuit against Iraq for the torture they endured from Iraq troops at the now infamous Abu Ghraib. They’re allowed to do this by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996.
2003: Judge Richard W. Roberts awards them $653 million in compensatory damages and $306 million in punitive damages.
Soon after this, the Bush administration argues the case should be thrown out. Why? Reasons include:
–President Bush had voided such claims against Iraq because of the current occupation
–This Scott McClellan quote: “These resources are required for the urgent national security needs of rebuilding Iraq.”
When the case goes to the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit, the 3 judges ruled unanimously for the Bush administration and throw out the lawsuit. The case is now before the Supreme Court.
For their sakes, I only hope that the Supreme Court has far more sense than the government on this case.