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Old 07-29-2003, 03:39 AM   #1
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U.S. Fights Verdict Backing Ex-P.O.W.'s

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/29/po.../29POW.html?th

Quote:
When 21 freed American P.O.W.'s returned home from the Persian Gulf war in March 1991, Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, welcomed them at Andrews Air Force Base, Md

"Every man and woman who cares for freedom," Mr. Cheney said, "owes you a very special measure of gratitude."

Of those 21 former prisoners of war, 17, who had been tortured by their Iraqi captors, would like something more tangible. This month they won a court award of almost $1 billion against Iraq, and a federal law says they may be paid from frozen Iraqi funds...
While i completely understand that these people want more than just friendly words...
...wasn't the logic a few months ago that Iraqs debts should be droped so that they can rebuild their country?

It was obviously not the new government (which will be hopefully a democratic one) who tortured them

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Old 07-29-2003, 11:46 AM   #2
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Governments don't always work with logic...
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:00 PM   #3
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I didn't read the entire article (I don't want to sign up), so my post is based only on the snippet that was posted.

Based on that, it seems that this has nothing to do with the US Government, so the "dropping the debt" issue doesn't come in to play. These are individuals doing the suing.
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:28 PM   #4
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full article:

Quote:
U.S. Fights Verdict Backing Ex-P.O.W.'s
By ADAM LIPTAK

When 21 freed American P.O.W.'s returned home from the Persian Gulf war in March 1991, Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, welcomed them at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

"Every man and woman who cares for freedom," Mr. Cheney said, "owes you a very special measure of gratitude."

Of those 21 former prisoners of war, 17, who had been tortured by their Iraqi captors, would like something more tangible. This month they won a court award of almost $1 billion against Iraq, and a federal law says they may be paid from frozen Iraqi funds.

The Bush administration has expressed sympathy for the plaintiffs over what they endured but is fighting them about the money, saying it is urgently needed to rebuild Iraq.

But Richard W. Roberts, a federal district judge in Washington, has ordered the government to keep enough Iraqi money in the United States to satisfy $653 million of the award, the amount of the compensatory but not the punitive damages he ordered paid to the former prisoners.

The Iraqi government never responded to the suit, which was filed in April 2002, and Judge Roberts acted after hearing evidence only from the plaintiffs. He set out his findings, in harrowing detail, in a 118-page decision.

The judge is to hear government arguments today asking him to rescind his order setting aside the $653 million and to cancel the award itself. The government cites "foreign policy interests in ensuring a safe and successful transition in Iraq."

Taylor Griffin, a Treasury spokesman, said that in March, President Bush ordered the seizure of about $1.7 billion of Iraqi money, already frozen. Mr. Griffin added that under a provision of a second federal law, the U.S.A. Patriot Act, that money became government property unavailable to the former prisoners. The parties disagree on how the two laws should be interpreted.

Mr. Griffin said the government had been periodically transferring those assets to Iraq, in cash, to pay Iraqi pensioners and civil servants, to provide working capital for Iraqi ministries and to buy equipment for the Iraqi police.

One lawyer for the former prisoners, Stephen A. Fennell, said changing conditions in Iraq should be of no consequence. Under the Geneva Convention, he said, "these types of liabilities run with the states, not the governments."

John Choon Yoo, who until recently was a Justice Department lawyer specializing in international issues, said the prisoners' suit was dangerous. "I terrifically sympathize with their personal situation and what they went through," he said, "but the use of the courts and damages remedies interferes with the president's conduct of foreign policy."

One plaintiff, Lt. Col. Richard Dale Storr, now with the Washington Air National Guard, said the administration's position troubled him. Colonel Storr endured beatings in Iraq that broke his nose, dislocated his shoulder and burst his left eardrum.

"It's sending a conflicting message to our troops," he said of the administration's recent court filings. "Congress and the judicial branch say, `Let's protect our guys to the maximum extent possible,' " while the executive branch is "saying the opposite."

"Disappointing," he added, "would be a good way to put it."
So it is the decision of the government if they give the money back to the Iraqi citizens (wich deserve much more than this, because there was much more totrure to iraqi people than to foreigners) or not.

Why don't they sue the US defense ministery? The US courts have no power over foreign countries, so if they want to sue another country they have to go to this place, and since you couldn't expect real justice there the ICC would have bin the right place.

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Old 07-29-2003, 12:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
and a federal law says they may be paid from frozen Iraqi funds...
But it seems as though federal law MAY allow them to be paid by Iraqi funds.

I don't know enough enough to really comment. I think it was neglectful for the US government to treat the POWs that way, I think it's frivolous for them to be suing, and I believe it to be very wrong if the US doesn't drop Iraq's debt once a new government is implemented.
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:35 PM   #6
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By the way ... about 1/2 to 3/4 of the Iraqi depts are "reperation costs" in Kuwait, since this is everything, but not a poor country they should drop the depts too.

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Old 07-29-2003, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus

Why don't they sue the US defense ministery?
Because it wasn't the United States that captured and tortured them.

I think that they ought to give Saddam and Sons' money to the people who sued.
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Old 07-29-2003, 02:00 PM   #8
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80sU2isBest: it didn't hapen in the US so it is not a job for a US judge , except they'd say "our US emplorye put us in a situation where this hapened" and with this argumentation you could only sue the employe

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Old 07-29-2003, 02:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
I think that they ought to give Saddam and Sons' money to the people who sued.
Why not give it back to the people of Iraq who will need it much more?
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Old 07-29-2003, 06:35 PM   #10
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Check it out: let's drop Iraq's debt to
a. enable them to rebuild
b. recognize the INJUSTICE of those innocent civilians having to pay for Saddam's palaces and prisons
c. set a global precedent for cancelling odious debt

http://jubileeiraq.org



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Old 07-29-2003, 07:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
I didn't read the entire article (I don't want to sign up)

I can understand you not wanting to sign up for the free online NY Times. With the Patriot Act and all, you could added to a watch list for reading this subversive material.

or even kicked out of the GOP.

or there could be subliminal civil union tolerance propaganda in there.
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:13 PM   #12
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I didn't want to sign up because everytime I sign up for something I get a disproportionate amount of junk email along with it, from the "partners".
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:20 PM   #13
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That is why i have a hotmail account


i let all the junk go there





i recently changed providers and only give my provider email to family and friends. so far i get no spam there.
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Governments don't always work with logic...
I think there is some logic or rational behind our governments action here.

We have many people in custody now. Many of them are no doubt completely innocent. Some have been mistreated and even abused.

They do not want to set a precedent of prisoners being paid damages.
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Old 07-30-2003, 06:41 AM   #15
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Hmm...I would say that, as part of the military, that being a POW is potentially part of the "job description." I think it is absolutely terrible as to what happened, but I don't necessarily think that they should have sued for what is, in essence, a known risk of the profession. If these were civilians, I could probably see why this is necessary.

Does what I say make any sense?

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