First district Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is pushing a bill to restore a provision to the defense bill vetoed by the president that would allow American P-O-Ws tortured in first Iraq war to sue the Iraqi government in U.S. courts.
Braley says his bill would revoke the national security waiver the president has relied upon to justify denying the tortured P-O-W’s from pursuing their claims against Iraqi assets. Braley says, "The president can no longer stand between these tortured P-O-W’s and the justice they deserve." The president said in his veto message he was concerned about the number of claims that could come out of the current situation in Iraq if the issue is allowed to move ahead. Braley says the president’s concerns are overstated.
Braley says there are a lot of procedures in place to minimize the concerns over many large claims from the current action in Iraq. He says Iraq is continuing to pay damages to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for infrastructure damages from the first Gulf War without taking the payments out of money that’s being used to rebuild Iraq.
Braley says Iraq has also worked out plans to pay back businesses impacted by the war, so paying the tortured soldiers shouldn’t be a problem. "And I think it’s just another example of the Bush administration placing corporate interests over human interests, and corporate rights over humans rights," Braley says, "and one of the goals is to expose some of the false arguments for denying these real American heroes their just compensation." Braley says the bill has several Democratic co-sponsors.