Friday, January 25, 2008

Gulf War POW's still being denied justice under Bush

Gulf War POWs push for Iraqi reparations

By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jan 25, 2008 14:30:59 EST

U.S. veterans of the 1991 Gulf War who were captured and tortured by Iraqi forces are renewing their efforts to get President Bush to relent and allow them to pursue damages against the Iraqi government that were awarded by a federal court in 2003.

Bush vetoed the 2008 defense authorization bill Dec. 28 over a provision that, in essence, would allow former prisoners of war to sue Iraq for damages for their torture while in captivity. Bush claimed that enacting the provision would, among other things, “allow plaintiffs’ lawyers to tie up billions of dollars in Iraqi funds for reconstruction that our troops in the field depend on to maintain security gains.”

According to a Dec. 28 report in Congressional Quarterly, Bush issued his veto after lawyers for the Iraqi government threatened to withdraw $25 billion worth of assets from U.S. banks if the provision was allowed to become law.

The American POWs were granted damages by a U.S. federal district court in July 2003. But earlier that year, after signing a bill that allowed Americans to collect court-ordered damages from the frozen assets of terrorist states — a list that included Iraq at that time — Bush had confiscated what was then $1.7 billion in Iraqi assets held in private banks. He allowed the payment of two judgments, including one for so-called “human shield” hostages held by Iraq in 1990, but none for the Americans taken prisoner in the 1991 Gulf War.
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Bush and Rumsfeld refused to honor these men from the Gulf War. Was it because what was done to them is still being done to those held by them? Or is it because Bush never cared about those he sent to risk their lives or those sent by his father? Why would he refuse to honor these men who suffered at the hands of Saddam?

There is Cliff Acree
“They had broken my nose many times. And I was just getting used,” says Col. Cliff Acree. “You just, kind of, get used to it.”

Acree was shot down during the second day of the war. He said his interrogations always began the same way: “They would have these six or eight people just beat you for 10, 15, 20 minutes. Just no questions asked, bring you into the room, and beat you with fists, feet, clubs, whatever.”

and Jeff Tice
Jeff Tice, now retired from the military, was captured after his F-16 was hit by a surface-to-air missile. He was tortured with a device he calls "the Talkman."

“They wrapped a wire around one ear, one underneath my chin, wrapped it around another ear and hooked it up to some electrical device. Asked a question. I wasn't interested in answering,” recalls Tice. Tice’s jaw was dislocated so many times that he says he was lucky to be able to put it back into place."

and Joseph Small
Joseph Small III was watching television Sunday morning in his Racine home when the first reports of American POWs flashed on the news.

He had nightmares, sometimes quite vivid ones, in the years after his release. Often when he was awake, he would get flashbacks. For the most part, Small said, he no longer has flashbacks or nightmares.

and Larry Slade
Capt. Larry "Rat" Slade retired in Norfolk on Thursday after 22 years in the Navy. US. Navy
Slade spent 43 days as a prisoner of war during the Gulf War

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When you think that these men did their duty in one military action the majority of the country supported, it's virtually impossible to understand how anyone with a conscience could ever deny their right to seek justice.

All these years of hearing the words "support the troops" must have rung hollow in their ears as they knew their government was denying them their right to seek justice.