• Obama’s DOJ Seeks Immunity for Bush Iraq War

    October 3, 2013

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Iraq

    Readers may recall D. Inder Comar, a San Francisco lawyer who is seeking to do what the Obama Administration refuses to do, hold the Bush Administration accountable for the unnecessary invasion of Iraq and its ongoing, horrific, aftermath.

    On March 13, 2013, Comar filed two lawsuits in California against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz on behalf of an Iraqi client and himself. He alleges the defendants planned and waged a “war of aggression” in violation of laws set down at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946 and seeks to hold the defendants personally liable for their actions.

    Well, we can’t have that.

    So, because every other problem in America has been resolved, Obama’s Department of Justice requested that the Bush Gang be granted procedural immunity. DOJ claims that in planning and waging the Iraq War, the Bushies acted within the legitimate scope of their employment and are thus immune from suit. This is the “Westfall Act Certification,” defense, submitted pursuant to the Westfall Act of 1988. The Act permits the Attorney General, at his or her discretion, to substitute the United States as the defendant and essentially grant absolute immunity to individual government employees for actions taken within the scope of their employment.

    To save you non-lawyers the expense of a Google: In 1988, Congress amended the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) to reinforce federal employees’ immunity from tort actions. These amendments — commonly known as the Westfall Act because they were a response to Westfall v. Erwin, 484 U.S. 292, 300 (1988) — provide that an action against the United States is the only remedy for injuries caused by federal employees acting within the scope of their employment. 28 U.S.C. SS 2679(d)(1). There some limited exceptions to when Westfall can be used, such as an action “which is brought for a violation of the Constitution of the United States.” Hmm.

    Now to be fair, this is actually a fairly standard defense by the government. The idea in theory is that if a government official follows the rules and say, denies you a passport lawfully because you did not present the required documentation, you can’t sue the guy. I can say in my own State Department career assisting American Citizens abroad, most of whom had been arrested for something (top three reasons for arrest: drugs, drugs and drugs), more than one wanted to sue me personally because of something well out of my control, such as a foreign judge thought they were scum sucking freaks. I was just doing my job, and followed the rules, and thus the government protected my actions.

    Still, while understanding the Department of Justice wants to just dismiss cases like Comar’s as routinely as possible, it leaves a sour taste to learn that the current administration wants to immunize the Bushies over a terrible war that nearly bankrupted America and resulted in so many needless deaths.

    Comar does raise a good point: since much of the planning for the Iraq War was done long before guys like Rumsfeld, Rice and Wolfowitz actually took office, they should not be protected by Westfall. In addition, there is that “violation of the Constitution of the United States” clause that must figure into this all somehow.

    The ongoing case against Bush is Saleh v. Bush (N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2013, No. C 13 1124 JST).



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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Quid Pro Quo, Clarice

      One serial killer protecting another. Obama sure don’t want the Chris Christie DOJ coming after him for his war crimes, would he?

      10/3/13 1:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...

      2

      Exactly right, Rich…this is a pre-emptive strike against the lawsuits that will be filed against, say, the Tuesday kill lists.

      10/3/13 5:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Snertly said...

      3

      So, in other words, the Westfall Act Certification is a justification of the Nuremberg Defense, i.e. “I was only following orders.”

      This assertion was rebutted during the Nuremberg trials by Principle IV: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

      10/3/13 5:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Caption for the photo:

      Hannibal Lecter: People will say we’re in love.

      10/3/13 6:29 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      5

      quote:”This assertion was rebutted during the Nuremberg trials by Principle IV: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.””

      Yeah yeah yeah,..yada yada yada. I’m sure all those children who’ve been vaporized at the hands of these fucking pyschopaths are relieved to know that, and look forward to the day some magical United Nations messiah with a secret weapon up their sleeve can slay this evil Supranational Sovereign.

      right. What’s on channel 355.

      10/4/13 12:33 AM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...

      6

      “absolute immunity”?

      No legality is forever un-reversible.

      10/4/13 7:45 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      7

      American war criminals are given immunity by..other American war criminals. right. Perfect. The court of Supranational Sovereignty issues another permit to murder with impunity..no strings attached.

      Meanwhile, the Red Cross, in a moment of mass suspension of reality, decides that “virtual” war criminals should be punished within ..you got it…VIDEO GAMES!

      http://weaselzippers.us/2013/10/03/red-cross-wants-people-punished-for-committing-war-crimes-in-video-games/

      More tales from the State of Lobotomized America.

      bartender..make it a double..no, make that a triple. And leave the bottle.

      10/4/13 11:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      Hey, Tex-ass, the eyes of the nation are upon thee:

      Randy Nazi-bauer, another chickenhawk from Texas, had his wings clipped on national TV. After picking on a female park ranger, the cowardly Vietnam draft dodger fled the WWII scene when a man confronted him for his stupid remarks.

      What is it about Texas that it keeps producing these cowards? And I thought my cousin Paul, a real skinhead Nazi, was the lowest rung on the Bauer family tree.

      10/4/13 12:08 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      9

      Rich Bauer said…

      quote:”Hey, Tex-ass, the eyes of the nation are upon thee:..”unquote

      Hey Rich…at least give us a clue, cause I don’t have the slightest clue what the fuck you are talking about. Maybe I’m just dense. In any event, I appreciate what you contribute, but geeezus..c’mann.

      10/4/13 11:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      Pitch and a Miss:

      Pitch,

      Sorry for the confusion. Blame it on Obamacare. There, I feel so much bitter.

      10/5/13 11:14 AM | Comment Link

    • Iraqi Mom Vs America: Obama Wants Full Immunity For Bush War From Crimes Allegations | True World Intelligence News (TWIN) said...

      11

      […] Obama’s DOJ Seeks Immunity for Bush Iraq War (wemeantwell.com) […]

      10/28/13 12:52 AM | Comment Link

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