U.S. Taking Money From Troops

According to the NYT story, some G.I.’s that were captured and tortured by the Hussein government during the first Gulf War in 1991 won a settlement that awarded them hundreds of millions of dollars in frozen Iraqi assets. Now, the Bush administration is trying to get the case overturned and block the group of American troops from collecting.

In a court challenge that the administration is winning so far but is not eager to publicize, administration lawyers have argued that Iraqi assets frozen in bank accounts in the United States are needed for Iraqi reconstruction and that the judgment won by the 17 former U.S. prisoners should be overturned in its entirety.

The former prisoners brought the suit against Iraq under a 1996 law that allows foreign governments designated as terrorist sponsors to be sued for injuries.

Now get a load of this spin by White House spokesman Scott McClellan:

“It was determined earlier this year by Congress and the administration that those assets were no longer assets of Iraq, but they were resources required for the urgent national security needs of rebuilding Iraq.”

The article goes on to say:

“This was a major human rights decision,” said John Norton Moore, one of the lawyers and a professor of national security law at the University of Virginia. “It never occurred to me in my wildest dreams that I would then see our government coming in on the side of Saddam Hussein and his regime to absolve them of responsibility for the brutal torture of Americans.”

I encourage you to read the full article: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/11/10/MNGLN2U2FO1.DTL and voice your concerns.