DOJ wants Bush, senior cabinet members exempt from Iraq War trial
Apart from Bush, the names listed in the paper the DoJ filed on Tuesday are former Vice President Richard Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, retired four-star General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice and former Deputy Secretary of Defense and President of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz.
Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi single mother of three who became a refugee, filed a complaint in March in the San Francisco federal court, claiming that the war in her country can be judged as a 'crime of aggression’, according to the same legal standards that the Nuremberg Tribunal used for convicting Nazi war criminals of World War II.
Saleh is the lead plaintiff in this class action lawsuit.
The reason for the decision is connected with the 'Westfall Act’ certification. The 1988 law gives the Attorney General the power to personally decide whether the United States is actually a defendant in the case. This in turn allows the granting of absolute immunity to politicians for actions carried out while in the government’s employ.
Inder Comar of Comar Law has agreed to take the case. The San-Francisco-based firm normally specializes in support to private companies, particularly those in the tech industry. Comar met with Saleh at her home in Jordan to discuss the case.
Chief counsel Comar wrote on the War Is a Crime website explaining that, "The DoJ claims that in planning and waging the Iraq War, ex-President Bush and key members of his Administration were acting within the legitimate scope of their employment and are thus immune from suit."
The lawsuit filed by Saleh says that Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz orchestrated the Iraq War in 1998 as part of their involvement with the 'Project for the New American Century’, a Washington DC-based non-profit organization that pushed for the overthrow of Iraq’s former leader, Saddam Hussein.
Salleh then alleges that the tragedy of September 11, 2001, was pitched to other members of the Bush cabinet as the perfect excuse to scare the American public into supporting the war in Iraq. The lawsuit also claims that the United States failed to obtain United Nations approval for the invasion, making it an illegal and aggressive act of war.
And lastly, "courts aren’t open to ruling on matters of a political nature", Hill said in reference to a doctrine in US Constitutional Law that separates clear-cut court cases with those better left to the legislative and executive branches of the government. This doctrine then means that the invasion of Iraq is a political case – not a legal one.