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February 16, 2005
U.S. v. U.S. P.O.W.s

This is a good one...

Marc Cooper points to an LA Times story about American soldiers who were held prisoner by Saddam Hussein's regime during the 1991 Gulf War, some of them at Abu Ghraib, where they were tortured, as apparently is the custom at that place.

In 2003 a U.S. court awarded these soldiers compensation from Iraq, which goes along well with statements our own Defense Secretary has made about the victims of our torture.

"I am seeking a way to provide appropriate compensation to those detainees who suffered grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the U.S. military. It is the right thing to do," Rumsfeld told a Senate committee last year.

LA Times

Well, guess what? The Bush administration has launched a court battle against the U.S. soldiers to prevent them from collecting the damages. They claim that the current government of Iraq has been absolved of all guilt (by virtue of our having taken over the place), and needs the money for other stuff.

Congress tried to step in, but that was quashed too..

The administration also succeeding in killing a congressional resolution supporting the POWs' suit. "U.S. courts no longer have jurisdiction to hear cases such as those filed by the Gulf War POWs," then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in a letter to lawmakers. "Moreover, the president has ordered the vesting of blocked Iraqi assets for use by the Iraqi people and for reconstruction."

You gotta love these guys.. they truly have no shame.


Previous Comments

If the situation were different, wouldn't we be in the ugly situation of compensating Americans for being tortured by Iraqis while Iraqis were being tortured by Americans?

Don't get me wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right. It's the government being plain old a**holes instead of hypocrite a**holes.

Grow up and read the paper. Fraternity pranks are just that not torture. Yes what was done was humiliating but so is making a bunch of freshmen college students run naked around the house then taking pictures of them and posting them. I really beleive that we should compensate those who were hazed, give me a break.


Wow. You should compensate me for hurting my feelings and humiliating me. You must be a liberal who can't make an argument against someones statment, so you call them names. Very mature. I guess that's why you're more interested in how a culture treats anal sex than more relevany causes.

It's like you've known me all my life.

One of the keys to understanding a legal decision or argument is to look at the relevant principle, the principle upon which the decision turns. Looking at a particular result is dangerous because of the problem of unintended consequences. While a decision may be a win for "your side" this time, the same legal reasoning might be used against you in the future. Better, in my opinion, to stick with sound legal reasoning, hope for the best results, and remain firm in standing with principle.