Congressman Cohen recently chaired a House Judiciary Committee hearing for seventeen American soldiers that were held captive and tortured by Iraq during the first Gulf War as they seek damages from the Iraqi government.
Addressing the Bush Administration’s lack of support for the American soldiers seeking compensation, Congressman Cohen said “The president has not satisfactorily explained why these fundamental principles should be disregarded here, nor has he satisfactorily explained why all of Iraq’s assets must be shielded, even while it is reaping billions upon billions of dollars from its oil fields, and while it is readily paying off pre-war commercial debts to foreign corporations totaling $4.4 million.”
A United States federal judge awarded $959 million to seventeen former prisoners of war that filed a lawsuit against the Iraqi government in 2002, but the Bush Administration has so far blocked all efforts to collect any damages in spite of its own 2002 executive order holding nations and individuals responsible for the humane treatment of US personnel.
“It is vitally important that we fight for the brave men and women who fight for us,” Congressman Cohen said. “It’s inexplicable that a nation that would go to war in the name of justice would deny justice to its own soldiers.”