The Witness Iraq lawsuits seek to apply international law in such a way that American militarism can be confronted in a court of law
Back in March, I saw a Youtube clip of a lawyer named Inder Comar of Comar Law located in San Francisco, California doing a press conference about suing the Bush Administration for war crimes. At first, I was shocked because I didn’t think that was possible within the United States, I only thought war crimes were litigated somewhere over in Europe.
As I watched the press conference and heard Mr. Comar explain how he was going about the lawsuit, my first thought was, “This has never been done before and would set a precedent case since he is using U.S. Federal laws and international laws combined.” I was so intrigued, I have followed the case’s winding road that now involves the support of Cindy Sheehan. On March 26, 2013, Yahoo News wrote this article about the cases and at that point, I knew that a judge would not just dismiss the case hastily.
The name of the lawsuits are Saleh v. Bush, et al and Comar v. Bush, et al. On April 22, 2013, Condoleeza Rice was notified in a letter of the lawsuit. Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, Ph.D. were notified the next day. On April 25, 2013, the same day as the opening of the George W. Bush library, ex-President George W. Bush himself was notified of the lawsuit. Finally, a few days later, ex-Vice President Dick Cheney and Colin Powell were notified as well. Responses were due by May 22, 2013 but apparently, the letters were not responded to.
According to Comar’s website, “In the event that counsel does not respond, Witness Iraq will issue the summons and personally serve any and all defendants within the jurisdiction of the Northern District of California.” At that point, I started to really take this seriously and was anxiously waiting for the May 22 date like the next episode of a soap opera.
On May 10, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California officially issued the summons for all six defendants. The next step was to serve the summons and complaints to the actual defendants which Comar Law aimed to do at the end of May. On May 24, 2013 arrest warrants were sent to the Attorney General of the United States.
On June 10, 2013, the Department of Justice notified Comar law that it is officially representing defendants Bush, Cheney, Powell and Rice in the lawsuit. The legality of the Iraq War will be briefed in the Northern District of California.
A chief aim of the Witness Iraq lawsuits against six members of the Bush Administration — Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice and Wolfowitz — is helping to end the banality of militarism. The idea of invading countries, bombing cities around the world and using military force to respond to complex international problems is simply taken for granted. It has become commonplace and trite.
But it is neither commonplace nor trite for the victims of militarism – both the innocents who die abroad, and for the members of the United States armed forces who take orders from civilian leaders and then suffer the physical and mental consequences of executing such orders.
If Americans wish to take their system of justice seriously, then leaders must remain accountable under law for engaging in conduct that is illegal or criminal under international law.By holding leaders accountable, it is possible to highlight this pernicious banality of militarism that currently exists in the United States.
Military action must be the very last option for any country committed to living in a global society consisting of other sovereign nations. The Witness Iraq lawsuits seek to apply international law in such a way that American militarism can be confronted in a court of law. It is high time to end unnecessary military aggression and to recognize that military action, even in the best of circumstances, is a malevolent and heinous event.
All Americans should get behind this attorney and his cases at www.witnessiraq.com or the Witness Iraq Facebook page. Should this case move forward, all of us will be a part of truly taking our country back and restoring our reputation in the international community, possibly dissolving terrorist attacks made in retaliation for these wars.
Update: A Quiet Mike exclusive interview with Inder Comar, the man behind the lawsuit, will be available soon.