American veterans of the Gulf War who were captured and tortured by Iraqi forces are furious at the decision of President Bush to veto a proposed bill that would have allowed them to pursue damages against the Iraqi government that were awarded them by a federal court. Bush vetoed the 2008 defense authorization bill over a proviso allowing former prisoners of war to sue Iraq for damages for their torture while in captivity. President Bush claimed the proviso would “allow plaintiffs’ lawyers to tie up billions of dollars in Iraqi hands for reconstruction that our troops in the field depend on to maintain security gains.” American POWs were granted damages by a U.S. federal court in July, 2003.
Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, is supporting efforts by POWs for their legal action against Iraq. “I was stunned and shocked and outraged and ashamed when I read why the president was choosing to veto this important bill. this is outrageous, and we’re going to do something about it.” He is introducing a bill tentatively entitled, “The Justice for Victims of Torture and Terrorism Act” which will protect the rights of the former POWs. Some critics of the POWs claim it is all about money, on the other hand, one can say it is all about justice. If past history runs true, George Bush will always come down on the side of money, not justice.