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Fox News Alert! Information unflattering to Bush administration aired!

Reported by Chrish - April 27, 2005

Judge Andrew Napolitano, hosting Special Report 4/26/05, had on as a guest his "long-time friend, Paul Kamenar", who is with the Washington Legal Foundation. They discussed a recent case refused by the SCOTUS involving former POW's (Gulf War I) who had sued Iraq and won $957,000,000.

N: "Former American POWs during the first Gulf War losing a billion dollar battle in court. The 17 men had sued Saddam Hussein in American federal court and won. Saying they were tortured by the former dictator's minnions and they won a $957 million dollar judgment, but lost it on appeal. And yesterday the SC rejected their appeal. I'm joined now by Paul Kamenar, Senior Executive counsel at the Washington Legal Foundation and long-time friend. Tell us what happened here."

K: "The Supreme Court unfortunately let stand the lower court's decision which threw out the judgment. The WLF had represented a bipartisan group of 20 US Senators and Congressmen led by Senator George Allen (R-VA) to support these POWs. It sends the wrong message, that state sponsors of terrorism will not be held accountable, and it sends also a message to out troops, that our government is able to pull the rug out from under them when they have a victory against Iraq and SH. So at this point, the POWs are considering all their legal options, but one thing is clear: this administration must stand behind these POWs and negotiate these claims with the Iraq government."

N: "Isn't there a specific statute which the Congress enacted to provide for Americans who have been abused by foreign tyrants, to sue those tyrants in American courts, and didn't these POWs follow the letter of the law that resulted in their judgment against the Hussein government?"

K: "They most certainly did. (Meanwhile the banner beneath is reading 'Lower-court ruling: Congress never authorized such suits.') The law was passed in 1996 to provide Americans who are tortured, who are killed who are hijacked, to file lawsuits against state sponsors of terrorism, and that's exactly what these servicemen did to the letter of the law. And we're very disappointed that the lower court ruled that they did not state a claim or cause of action. That's why we went to the SC but unfortunately the court would not hear the case."

N: "What is the argument that the Bush administration made? Why does the administration want to get involved in what is basically a private suit between victims and their torturers?

K: "Well, their stated purpose was that the funds are needed to help rebuild Iraq, but that is not exactly what would happen here. We would not take a single penny out of US taxpayers funds. Right now the French, the Germans, the Russians, the Kuwaitis are being paid as creditors from the new regime for debts that were incurred before. All we want to do is have these POWs stand in that same line. We're not even asking to be put at the head of the line, but at least stand in the line, and be able to collect the judgment. But they're not really interested, these POWs, in the money, their principle is to make sure this law enacted by Congress sends a message to state sponsors of terrorism that they will be held accountable in US courts for their illegal conduct."

N: "Isn't there a vast amount of money, and maybe you could tell us how much, that belongs to the former Iraqi regime that is here in American banks, and those accounts have been frozen."

K: "I don't have an exact figure on that, but you're right, those accounts have been frozen, they're being used to help rebuild Iraq, we won't touch a penny of that money. All we're saying is in the future we should be able to get some compensation from Iraq after they get on their feet. But the principle is what's most important."

N: "OK. You lost in the SC. You didn't lose on the merits but the SC decided not to overturn the lower court. Where do you go from here?"

K: "We are considering all our legal options. We may refile the case in the district court. Senator Allen has been in touch with the administration. We're hoping the administration will take up the cause of these POWs in the claims with the new Iraqi government but Colonel Acree and his fellow POWs are going to fight this all the way - this is not going to stop here."

Comment: Shouldn't Tom DeLay be hollering about now because that higher court refused to review or overturn the lower court? Or maybe screaming about excessive damages costing everybody?

It makes me ill to know how shoddily our vets are treated by this two-faced chicken-hawk administration. Wasn't this war supposed to pay for itself? Only ones making money are the Halliburtons and Bechtels.

Good for Judge Napolitano for exposing this.

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