The Witness Iraq lawsuits seek to apply international law in such a way that American militarism can be confronted in a court of law
Back in March, I saw a Youtube clip of a lawyer named Inder Comar of Comar Law located in San Francisco, California doing a press conference about suing the Bush Administration for war crimes. At first, I was shocked because I didn’t think that was possible within the United States, I only thought war crimes were litigated somewhere over in Europe.
As I watched the press conference and heard Mr. Comar explain how he was going about the lawsuit, my first thought was, “This has never been done before and would set a precedent case since he is using U.S. Federal laws and international laws combined.” I was so intrigued, I have followed the case’s winding road that now involves the support of Cindy Sheehan. On March 26, 2013, Yahoo News wrote this article about the cases and at that point, I knew that a judge would not just dismiss the case hastily.
The name of the lawsuits are Saleh v. Bush, et al and Comar v. Bush, et al. On April 22, 2013, Condoleeza Rice was notified in a letter of the lawsuit. Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, Ph.D. were notified the next day. On April 25, 2013, the same day as the opening of the George W. Bush library, ex-President George W. Bush himself was notified of the lawsuit. Finally, a few days later, ex-Vice President Dick Cheney and Colin Powell were notified as well. Responses were due by May 22, 2013 but apparently, the letters were not responded to.
According to Comar’s website, “In the event that counsel does not respond, Witness Iraq will issue the summons and personally serve any and all defendants within the jurisdiction of the Northern District of California.” At that point, I started to really take this seriously and was anxiously waiting for the May 22 date like the next episode of a soap opera.
On May 10, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California officially issued the summons for all six defendants. The next step was to serve the summons and complaints to the actual defendants which Comar Law aimed to do at the end of May. On May 24, 2013 arrest warrants were sent to the Attorney General of the United States.
On June 10, 2013, the Department of Justice notified Comar law that it is officially representing defendants Bush, Cheney, Powell and Rice in the lawsuit. The legality of the Iraq War will be briefed in the Northern District of California.
A chief aim of the Witness Iraq lawsuits against six members of the Bush Administration — Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice and Wolfowitz — is helping to end the banality of militarism. The idea of invading countries, bombing cities around the world and using military force to respond to complex international problems is simply taken for granted. It has become commonplace and trite.
But it is neither commonplace nor trite for the victims of militarism – both the innocents who die abroad, and for the members of the United States armed forces who take orders from civilian leaders and then suffer the physical and mental consequences of executing such orders.
If Americans wish to take their system of justice seriously, then leaders must remain accountable under law for engaging in conduct that is illegal or criminal under international law.By holding leaders accountable, it is possible to highlight this pernicious banality of militarism that currently exists in the United States.
Military action must be the very last option for any country committed to living in a global society consisting of other sovereign nations. The Witness Iraq lawsuits seek to apply international law in such a way that American militarism can be confronted in a court of law. It is high time to end unnecessary military aggression and to recognize that military action, even in the best of circumstances, is a malevolent and heinous event.
All Americans should get behind this attorney and his cases at www.witnessiraq.com or the Witness Iraq Facebook page. Should this case move forward, all of us will be a part of truly taking our country back and restoring our reputation in the international community, possibly dissolving terrorist attacks made in retaliation for these wars.
Update: A Quiet Mike exclusive interview with Inder Comar, the man behind the lawsuit, will be available soon.
It’s been two years since I saw this and “shared’ it. Is there any “movement” on this?!?!?
Bush and Cheny should be waterboarded then executed.
The American legal system is corrupt.
Facts remain, Cheney controlled the incompitant Bush, still upset Bush senior backed out of Bagdad before destroying Iraq. he was CEO of Halliburton then, and on board of directors as Vice PRES. HE BOMBED Iraq so his company could have no bid contract fixing the infostructure damage shock and awe destroyed. Cheney proffited from the orders and death he created. He should be in prison for war profitering.
It is such a sad state of affairs in public debate and discussion when individuals find it necessary to lodge ad hominem attacks and complaints toward one’s opponent as an attempt to silence, shame, disprove, etc. their arguments and remarks. I realize that this methodology has become the bread and butter of the American Political discourse, and I’d invite those present to contemplate this process as one of the primary underpinnings of the breakdown of political process in this country. Shame on the ad hominem attacks. If you can’t partake in a rational discussion, I, as well as likely many on the side that supports your same views, invite you to sit this one out. Thank you.
Maybe this will make the current administration think twice about launching armed drones into other countries.
actually, armed drones are kind of the opposite of full scale bombing, invasion by armies and the expenditures associated with that.
What a crock of shit. A lot of people supported the war initially, now they want to change their tune? Sure, it may not have been executed for all the right reasons, but this is just out of hand. Just let bygones be bygones. I’ll bet the same liberal shitheads suing the Bush Administration won’t even think about harassing that dirty criminal Obama over Benghazi, drone strikes on American soil, etc. Also, as for the last line in this article, NOTHING is going to stop terrorist attacks. You think they’ll be satisfied over a lawsuit? They hate everything about America and will attack it with vigor no matter what. Y’all are straight-up stupid if you think this is going to resolve anything, ya damn hypocrites.
Lot of people supported racial segregation at one point, did that mean it was morally just? Bush started an unjust war based on a lie, got 4,000 Americans and over 100,000 Iraqis killed as a result. Iraq is still a mess to this day, and no amount of American military power has fixed anything in any real sense. This lawsuit is about holding the lies of the Bush administration accountable. If you think it has anything to do with aiding terrorists, you have indeed won the award for idiot of a generation.
THANK YOU,JULIAN DRURY, FOR INSISTING ON RULE OF LAW OVER VIGILANTE VIOLENCE. SOME “FOLKS’ JUST NEVER LEARN DO THEY!
You’re an American idiot and in league with war criminals and traitorous cowards who kill children.
No, its not a crock of sh*t as you say. There were many of us that were intelligent enough to know at the time the war began, it was another Vietnam war and it was all about the oil. There’s a lot of evidence that supports the fact that the Bush Administration knew about the impending 9/11 attacks and did nothing to stop them. Bush used 9/11 as an excuse to attack a country that had nothing to do with the attacks on the US. It’s not coincidental that Iraq has the 2nd largest oil deposit in the world. You would have to have your head buried deep in the sand to not see or understand that fact.
You are mixing apples with oranges with regard to Benghazi. Not having all the facts or pulling our people out prior to the attach on our embassy is not the same thing as going into a country and murdering their people and ours as well over oil. It was all about the money.
It would be nice if rednecks like yourself would learn to read and think for yourself rather than drink the cool aid served to you by the Bush administration.
The Bush administration did so many things wrong during its reign, this is just one of many. Bush caused the economic collapse we all suffered in 2008; Bush spent every single dime of our surplus and then some. Prior to Bush, gas was less than a buck a gallon, something none of us have seen since the 70s. During and after Bush administration, gas prices have risen to almost $4 a gallon. How ignorant do you have to be not to be able to put the blame where it belongs.
People like you should be allowed to reproduce or vote.
Go to someone’s home who you have no argument with, slaughter them and burn their house to the ground, then tell those who come on the scene in the morning it’s better to “let bygones be bygones…” I would shoot you on the spot, but the law says it must go to trial. So far, that chore has been woefully neglected.
Have you forgotten the anti-war marches and rallies that were the largest in history in every major city in this nation? Millions of people in this nation did not support the wars, from the very beginning.
The plaintiff is an Iraqi refugee now living in Jordan…it is not an American who i suing fyi.
ha ha. mike hawk. exactly what’s wrong with this country. should’ve let those hitler bygones be bygones then, right? you fool. go away. i hear sean hannity calling you…over there. you commie.
It wont matter..There is no enforcement mechanism in International law ..and who is going to enforce it….I am not a lawyer and have no idea what the legal implication of this case are …..but I feel that the only thing that wills stop future Iraq Wars is a fundamental change in the political culture ….in the entire country ..and mandatory military service ….I promise you if Buffy and Biff have to put their asses on the line they wont be as eager to start wars
Royals Sin City, I can see your point. I do agree that we need policy change, but this lawsuit may bring about those changes. Often time lawsuits result in needed changes that our government refuses to make. The 40 hour work week, overtime, being required to leave doors unlocked during business hours are just a few examples.
I would like to see Bush and his chronies held accountable for what they have done. Hopefully, this lawsuit will bring about the evidence need to charge them criminally with a war crime. I do not believe Colon Powell is a proper party to this. He was following orders and questioned many as I recall. He was not in favor of the war. He would be better as a witness rather than a defendant. I hope the justice department throws the Bush administration under the bus.
As I watched the destruction on television delivered from the air against Bagdad that was called shock and awe I thought this must be against international law. None of the arguments for this massive military attack made much sense. Colin Powell’s ill-advised testimony before the UN including Bay of Pigs style arial photos were not convincing. The only other major nation to believe the story was Great Britain. It took most Americans a long time to realize that a major mistake had been made. At last the entire world came to find out it was all false, concocted by the neo-con Republicans of the Bush administration, the very ones named in the indictment. The damage resulting from this crime to the life and fortune of the US is ongoing. The harm done to the hapless people of Iraq and other middle east countries is impossible to quantify. Holding those responsible for this ghastly crime is the least justice we can do.
no bush and cheney and rumsfield and rice lied plain and simple they lied to congress and congress voted on lies
EXACTLY! >:( (y)
STAY AWAKE!!!! DEMOCRACY’S AT STAKE!!!! (y) >:( “2014 /2016” >>> WE WILL “STOP” THE REPUBLICANS!!! <<:( (y) >>> STAY AWAKE<<:( (y)
Excellent piece Michelle. This needed to be reported.
First place: there is NO BUSH Library for W. His ‘work’ (pack of NeoCON lies and BS) is subsumed into HIS FATHER’S LIBRARY. No one was going to let him have a “library”—too much chance that the REAL WAR ON IRAQ FOR OIL, began by Cheney; Bush The Younger (who, I repeat, DOES NOT HAVE HIS OWN LIBRARY–ONLY A COLLECTION OF ‘PAPERS’ (pack of lies) about Iraq, in HIS FATHER’S LIBRARY—its nonexistent WMDs (yeah at one time the Iraqis DID have WMDs, but the ISRAELIS took ’em out in 1980!)
wow! that’s all I have to say. a majority of Clintons cabinet members ended up dead or in jail. and Obama’s group has been wiretapping americans and calling for the use of drones on american soil. I think we should have just protected or Allie Kuwait and let those people to the north of then rot in their filth.
Who started this???
Clinton people are not dead or in jail that would be Republicans
Very well written and credible articles. Many good points to followup on as to the legality of this war.
As a British international law graduate, I am slightly shocked but pleased that this is happening in the U.S. Let’s hope the justice system sets a good example. But what is the ‘plaintiff’ (witness iraq) actually after? What is a victory for Witness Iraq? – I would suggest that simply getting the politicians into the dock to answer questions would be a start. We have a system of ‘independent inquiry’ in the UK which has seen the likes of Murdoch, Blair, Hague and other’s pulled up before a parliamentary panel…but still waiting for Blair to be taken to court.
From what I understand, a victory would mean compensation paid out by the guilty parties to the victims (American and Iraqi) and a possible trip to the ICC. I believe the the Witness Iraq website has more details http://witnessiraq.com/
This is one to follow for the next year…can’t imagine a liberal judge in a liberal Federal District Court just dismissing this…especially with a liberal Attorney General. Imagine the outrage if this is thrown out!
Since the Iraq war (which I opposed) was entered into with bipartisan support in Congress, are they also going to try every Congressman and Senator who voted for it? Because that’s the only fair thing to do. And after that, will Obama be next for continuing the war and adding in drone strikes?
Let’s see who they attempt to hold accountable and who gets a pass. Gee, I wonder…
I don’t thimk you can nail Congress to the wall. They were given the same BS as we were, and they cast votes accordingly.
OMG! It is about time George Bush be held accountable for the injury he caused this country, and, for the military lives he caused to be snuffed out!
Ain’t that the truth. Hopefully this lawsuit will gain more media attention. These kinds of lawsuits have been filed in other countries, but never in the United States until now.
Yeah. Bush Jr., Cheney, Rummy and Rice, were tried in absentia in The Hague (Swiss International Court whose decisions are recognised to be final), and all were found to be War Criminals, for taking America to war against a country innocent of all that these crooks wrongfully accused Iraq of being/doing!
The Hague’s decision rendered it impossible for Bush Jr, Dirty Dick (imagine! A former American Vice President!) Cheney—Rummy the Wretched, and Rice specializing in Lies—to land in ANY COUNTRY (with the exception of Dubai, part of Saudi Arabia—as well as Saudi Arabia itself!)
Now. since the World Court in The Hague (along with, now, most of the rest of the world) now recognizes the former American president (small letter “p” deliberate, referring to HOW that pack of NeoCON LIARS gained the American White House—[not once but TWICE!]) as a LIAR on the order of a Hitler, and thus a War Criminal [along with his other henchmen/women]—any country subscribing to the Hague as arbiter of War Crimes, is obliged to have these War Criminals arrested AS SOON AS THEY LAND ANYWHERE (with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Dubai) or face censure by The Hague—the same court which declared Hitler and Stalin, War Criminals) !!
Their own party, the NeoCONS, now go out of their way to NEVER MENTION ANOTHER LIAR in their ranks—one Richard M. Nixon (nicknamed ‘Tricky Dick’ for obvious reasons when you read about all HIS lies!) I wonder if Bush and his VP, Dirty Dick, will suffer the same fate?! I’m sure they will as, in most circles in the world AND EVEN THE USA…recognize them with utter SHAME, as (ONE OF OUR OWN) WAR CRIMINALS—Liars non-pareil, as Republicans tend to be; as they (their sub-group, NeoCONS and Used-Up TeaBaggers) are, actually, America’s own worst enemy, grown and nurtured from within.
At least, now, most Americans recognize them as such. Not the least of whom are the Latino community who believed that Republicans want them “sent back to where they came from” instead of being granted American citizenship. So now Ted Cruz (Neo CON who inherited Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat in the US Senate when she retired last year) ‘represents’ Texas’ business interests in the US…instead of who actually got the most votes, Ortega…who would have represented the PEOPLE of Texas. Maybe it’ll all straighten itself out when Congress is up for Re-election in 2014. (OR HOPEFULLY THEY GET TOSSED IN FAVOR OF DEMS–NOT SOME OF THESE DEMO-PUBLICANS we got now).
Can you IMAGINE? President Obama’s LAST TWO YEARS WITH A DEMOCRATIC SENATE AND CONGRESS…as well as a Democratic President?! Wow, what a last two years THAT WILL BE! Forget about Republican attempts to rape and rob Social Security—they can’t do it now (they have to pay back EVERYTHING THEY BORROW FROM THE FUND, WHICH IS NOW FINANCING AMERICA!) AFTER THE NEOCON REPUBLICANS RUINED US! THAT’S THE LAW.
Yep, despite the lies that they have been—are now—and WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD ABOUT HOW THE SS FUND IS ‘NEARLY BROKE’ NOT GONNA HAPPEN.
They just want you to THINK that it will. Look at which party’s flapping their lying mouths about it. Investigate for yourself—it doesn’t take a genius! And see for yourself, the Pack of Liars that the Republican Party has degenerated into, after Richard Nixon and Ronnie Ray-Gun!
Congratulations, you get the award for being the biggest idiot of the year. Obama has committed far more criminal acts than Bush. Benghazi? Drone strikes on American soil? Fast and Furious? Indefinite detention? Raping constitutional amendments in the ass? Ring any bells? Or are you used to being lied to? Either you’re totally ignorant, or just plain fucking stupid. Wake up, already.
The only one I see sleeping here is you Mike. Obama should be held accountable for actions he commits. Obama never launched a drone strike on American soil (and I am a huge critic of his drone policies). Bush signed PATRIOT and AUMF, which by far are the main catalysts for the security state. Congratulations Mike Hawk, you just won the award for idiot of a generation…
That is yet the dumbest thing I have ever heard ! Americans were lied to when Bush said there were weapons of mass destruction and killed many innocent people and the life’s of our own. Americans fighting for their Country and it was for Bush’s oil ! Follow your own advice ! How about Bush and 9/11 ?