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Bush war crimes complaint still alive as court allows Second Amended Complaint

(From L-R) Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice
(From L-R) Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice

Last year reported that the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, was pursuing immunity for former President George W. Bush and five others for war crimes committed during the Iraq war.

This is the original complaint filed on March 13, 2013; Sundus Shaker Saleh vs. George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz.

Charges sought by the Plaintiff:

  • Conspiracy to commit aggression
  • The crime of aggression.
  • Demand for a jury trial
  • Class action

On May 20, 2014, the United States District Court Northern District of California dismissed the original complaint with leave to file a Second Amended Complaint by June 9, 2014. The Second Amended Complaint was indeed filed on June 9, by D. Inder Comar, of the law firm Comar Law.

The court cited The Westfall Act as their main reason for dismissal.

The Westfall Act confers immunity to federal employees “by making an FTCA (Federal Torts Claims Act) action against the Government the exclusive remedy for torts committed by Government employees in the scope of their employment.”

The Act provides that:

Upon certification by the Attorney General that the defendant employee was acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident out of which the claim arose, any civil action or proceeding commenced upon such a claim in a United district court shall be deemed an action against the United States under the provisions of this title and all references thereto, and the United States shall be substituted as the party defendant.

The Second Amended Complaint filed by Comar Law addresses this issue, one of which shows that Richard B. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, both signed a PNAC statement saying that they "will seek a regime change in Iraq". Both signed the statements in 1999, before Bush was in the White House.

PNAC (Project for a New American Century) is a neoconservative Think Tank that basically advocates for war, especially against Muslim nations. And during the Clinton administration PNAC was calling for a regime change in Iraq.

Their stated goals are:

  • We need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future
  • We need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values
  • We need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad
  • We need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles

The fact that the United States District Court Northern District of California left the door open for a Second Amended Complaint means that this case is far from over. The plaintiff and her lawyer now know which avenues to take that may help to avoid another dismissal, or it may end with the same results.

You can follow updates of this suit on the Facebook page Witness Iraq, which is tracking this case.

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