Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DOJ Asks Court to Grant Immunity to George W. Bush For Iraq War

War Is A

In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.

Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the war constituted a “crime of aggression” against Iraq, a legal theory that was used by the Nuremberg Tribunal to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II.

"The DOJ claims that in planning and waging the Iraq War, ex-President Bush and key members of his Administration were acting within the legitimate scope of their employment and are thus immune from suit,” chief counsel Inder Comar of Comar Law said.

The “Westfall Act certification,” submitted pursuant to the Westfall Act of 1988, permits the Attorney General, at his or her discretion, to substitute the United States as the defendant and essentially grant absolute immunity to government employees for actions taken within the scope of their employment.

In her lawsuit, Saleh alleges that:

-- Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz began planning the Iraq War in 1998 through their involvement with the “Project for the New American Century,” a Washington DC non-profit that advocated for the military overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

-- Once they came to power, Saleh alleges that Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz convinced other Bush officials to invade Iraq by using 9/11 as an excuse to mislead and scare the American public into supporting a war.

-- Finally, she claims that the United States failed to obtain United Nations approval prior to the invasion, rendering the invasion illegal and an act of impermissible aggression.

“The good news is that while we were disappointed with the certification, we were prepared for it,” Comar stated. “We do not see how a Westfall Act certification is appropriate given that Ms. Saleh alleges that the conduct at issue began prior to these defendants even entering into office. I think the Nuremberg prosecutors, particularly American Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson, would be surprised to learn that planning a war of aggression at a private non-profit, misleading a fearful public, and foregoing proper legal authorization somehow constitute lawful employment duties for the American president and his or her cabinet.”

Best of luck to Ms. Saleh and her attorneys but I think the fix is in on this one.


Syrbal/Labrys said...

This is why bloggers need virtual spittoons. ....ones capable of being hit with spit nails.

CAFKIA said...

I am willing to entertain the argument that Bush, Powell & Rice are covered under the Westfall Act enumerated in the essay. It seems weak but perhaps applicable. Cheney, Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz however, are criminals. Period. They knowingly and with malice aforethought misled the American and international public as well as other officials in the American government. My personal feeling based on my memories and reading of a variety of analyses of the lead up to the war, is that Bush, Powell & Rice are complicit primarily by being willing dupes. The others are easily as guilty as anyone ever convicted at Nuremberg. I think they all deserve punishment but, I am uncomfortable with the idea of punishing the two groups at the same level.

Gordon said...

I think it's like a capital murder charge - all parties to it can be charged equally. Being a willing dupe is no excuse. Bush could have stopped it with one word.

casey said...

Hello Gordon,

Justice Robert Jackson must be spinning in his grave. He said that the principles of the trials at Nuremberg must be applied to all and not just to the ones who lost WWII otherwise it is victors justice. Here is his opening statement (url) warning it is a very long statement.

WhyNot said...


"I think it's like a capital murder charge - all parties to it can be charged equally. Being a willing dupe is no excuse. Bush could have stopped it with one word."

I agree 100%. I can't believe my eyes when I read such fascist crap as Bush & Co being immuned from grand scale crimes against humanity on the ground of some fucking local American flimsey Westfall Act!

Does it mean Hitler should have been imuned from crimes against imunity simply by brandishing some German piece of legislation exonerating him from any responsibility in his mass murders???

50 fucking million people died because of that cunt, more than half (27 million) Russians, and out of those more than 2/3 (18 million) civilians.

So CAFKIA, do you think Hitler should have brandished a German law piece of paper labeled "the West Germany Act" clearing him from any responsibility in WW2 ??????

Which fuckin' asylum did you escape from, fuckhead?

WhyNot said...

I meant "crimes against humanity" in my last comment (second paragraph).

CAFKIA said...

I know what I wrote but I have no idea what you read.

Gordon said...

CAFKIA, I took "I am uncomfortable with the idea of punishing the two groups at the same level" as Cheney etc. being a different group than the willing dupes.

As far as I am concerned, a good twelve-rope mass hanging (repeat as necessary) would be good for the soul of the nation.

bearsense said...

Hopefully, one of these mopes will travel outside the US.

Gordon said...

Bearsense, they know what they did, they know the world knows, and they know better. I'd love to see it though.