SAN FRANCISCO: A court in San Francisco will hear a single mother's compliant against members of the Bush administration, as she claims the Iraq War was illegal under international law.
Plaintiff, Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now lives in Jordan.
She filed a complaint at the San Francisco Federal Court in March of this year, alleging that the planning and waging of the Iraq War was a "crime of aggression" against Iraqi civilians, a legal theory used at the Nuremberg Trials to convict Nazi leaders for planning and waging wars in Europe during World War II.
Saleh served the complaint against six Bush-era officials, including George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. She is seeking damages for herself as well as for other Iraqi civilian victims of the war.
War on Iraq was openly planned
She alleges that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz openly planned the Iraq War beginning in 1998 through a neo-conservative think-tank called "The Project for the New American Century". She further alleges that once in power, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz convinced other Bush officials to invade Iraq and to use 9/11 as an excuse to scare and mislead the American public into giving their support.
President Obama's Department of Justice
President Obama's Department of Justice (DOJ) is representing the defendants and has filed court papers seeking to immunize them from civil proceedings. They are arguing that the former officials were acting within the scope of their employment in planning and waging the Iraq War. The Obama DOJ has also argued that Saleh's lawsuit is a political question and should be dismissed.
"This is the first time that a court will examine arguments that the Iraq War was illegal under international law," chief counsel Inder Comar of Comar Law said.
"We will ask the court to recognize the Nuremberg judgment as binding precedent against these six defendants, and to reject the Obama DOJ argument that Bush-era officials were acting within the scope of their employment when they publicly planned the Iraq War prior to entering office," Inder added.
International Military Tribunal
In 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg ruled that planning and waging a war of aggression is a "supreme international crime". It convicted Nazi leaders of engaging in premeditated wars that violated international law. Several Nazi leaders were sentenced to death for committing the crime of aggression and other war crimes.
Oral argument for the case: Saleh v. Bush is set for hearing on April 3, 2014, 2:00 p.m., in the Northern District of California, San Francisco division.
Updates, including court documents, can be found at http://witnessiraq.com.
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