Trial Lawyers Rear Their Ugly Heads


The Democrats have stooped to a new low:

CRAWFORD, Texas – President Bush plans to veto a
sweeping defense policy bill on grounds that it would derail Iraq’s
efforts to rebuild its country, the White House said Friday.

Bush’s action, which apparently caught congressional leaders off
guard, centers on one provision in the legislation dealing with Iraqi
assets. The legislation would permit plaintiffs’ lawyers immediately to
freeze Iraqi funds and would expose Iraq to “massive liability in
lawsuits concerning the misdeeds of the Saddam Hussein regime,” said
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

“The new democratic government of Iraq, during this crucial period
of reconstruction, cannot afford to have its funds entangled in such
lawsuits in the United States,” Stanzel said in a statement.


The provision that is causing problems would have allowed the
victims of the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam to seek compensation in
court, Democrats said. The Iraqi government has warned that former U.S.
prisoners of war from the first Gulf War might cite this legislation in
an attempt to get money from the Iraqi government’s reported $25
billion in assets now held in U.S. banks, they say.

Unless Bush vetoes the legislation, the Iraqis have threatened to
withdraw all of their money from the U.S. financial system to protect
it from the lawsuits, Democrats said.

The White House contends the legislation subject to the Bush veto
would imperil Iraqi assets held in the United States, including
reconstruction and central bank funds.

“Once in place, the restrictions on Iraq’s funds that could result
from the bill could take months to lift,” Stanzel said. In turn, he
said, those restrictions must not be allowed to become law “even for a
short period of time.”

For months, hell years, they have done their best to derail any progress in Iraq and now they’ve slipped in a provision they surely must of known would cause a veto.

Why would they do that?

To score political points. A pathetic attempt to say “hey, it’s not our fault, it’s his.”

Nancy and Harry say that the President should of said something earlier and then make this idiotic statement:

“We understand that the president is bowing to the demands of the Iraqi
government, which is threatening to withdraw billions of dollars
invested in U.S. banks if this bill is signed.”

Bowing to the demands?  The freakin gall of these people.  Iraq is on the right track, violence is down, and they are now doing their best to reconcile but Nancy and Harry want much needed money to be frozen in place….to score political points.

We cannot let the reconstruction of that country be stopped by hundreds of trial lawyers.

The Democrats who bowed to the trial lawyers and slipped this in should be ashamed.


The President issued this statement explaining this veto:

While my Administration objected to an earlier version of this provision in previous communications about the bill, its full impact on Iraq and on our relationship with Iraq has become apparent only in recent days. Members of my Administration are working with Members of Congress to fix this flawed provision as soon as possible after the Congress returns.

Section 1083 would establish unprecedented legal burdens on the allocation of Iraq’s funds to where they are most needed. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, I have issued Executive Orders to shield from entanglement in lawsuits the assets of the DFI and the CBI. I have taken these steps both to uphold international legal obligations of the United States and to remove obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq. Section 1083 potentially would place these crucial protections of Iraq’s core assets in immediate peril, by including a provision that might be misconstrued to supersede the protections I have put in place and to permit the judicial attachment of these funds. Iraq must not have its crucial reconstruction funds on judicial hold while lawyers argue and courts decide such legal assertions.

Moreover, section 1083 would permit plaintiffs to obtain liens on certain Iraqi property simply by filing a notice of pending action. Liens under section 1083 would be automatic upon filing a notice of a pending claim in a judicial district where Iraq’s property is located, and they would reach property up to the amount of the judgment plaintiffs choose to demand in their complaints. Such pre-judgment liens, entered before claims are tested and cases are heard, are extraordinary and have never previously been available in suits in U.S. courts against foreign sovereigns. If permitted to become law, even for a short time, section 1083’s attachment and lien provisions would impose grave — indeed, intolerable — consequences on Iraq.

Section 1083 also includes provisions that would expose Iraq to increased liability in lawsuits. Contrary to international legal norms and for the first time in U.S. history, a foreign sovereign would be liable for punitive damages under section 1083. Section 1083 removes defenses common for defendants in the United States — including res judicata, collateral estoppel, and statutes of limitation –upon which the Iraqi government has relied. And section 1083 would attempt to revive a $959 million judgment against the new democratic Government of Iraq based on the misdeeds of the Saddam Hussein regime.

Exposing Iraq to such significant financial burdens would weaken the close partnership between the United States and Iraq during this critical period in Iraq’s history. If Iraq’s assets are frozen, even temporarily, that could reduce confidence in the Iraqi dinar and undermine the success of Iraq’s monetary policy. By potentially forcing a close U.S. ally to withdraw significant funds from the U.S. financial system, section 1083 would cast doubt on whether the United States remains a safe place to invest and to hold financial assets. Iraqi entities would be deterred from engaging in commercial partnerships with U.S. businesses for fear of entangling assets in lawsuits. Section 1083 would be viewed with alarm by the international community and would invite reciprocal action against United States assets abroad.

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Harry and Nancy (Terrorists party) are trying to get all of the lawsuits in Iraq transferred to American courts to payback/payoff their lawyer friends. That’s a simple fact.

Lawyers! My goodness where would we be with out them. /

Let’s see. Bypartisan bill.
If the provision of the bill was so offensive, why didn’t the White House, which was aware of the legislation’s progress as it passed, say something sooner?

As the AP noted, “sovereign nations are normally immune from lawsuits in U.S. courts. An exception is made for state sponsors of terrorism and Iraq was designated such a nation in 1990. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, however, Congress passed a law and Bush issued a decree stating that Iraq was exempt from such lawsuits.”

So, what’s the problem here?

why didn’t the White House, which was aware of the legislation’s progress as it passed, say something sooner?

They did:

Bush aides said they had signaled concern about the controversial provision for weeks, although there had been no formal veto threat. They said their concern grew urgent recently after a legal review and feedback from U.S. diplomats in Iraq and Iraqi leaders.

Curt, I don’t believe that Bush’s pocket veto has anything to do with what’s in the bill. I get the impression that Bush is doing this because he wants to challenge the idea that pro-forma (i.e. Jim Webb coming in to gavel for 10 seconds) Senate sessions are legal sessions, so that he can get recess appointments through. He has until 1159PM EST on 12/31/07 before that pocket veto comes into effect.

Last I checked, both the House and the Senate had to have a quorum (50% of membership) in order to conduct business. So could this mean that over the weekend, we could see 218 House members and 51 Senators come in to override Bush’s veto? After all, you only have to have 2/3 of the quorum to override a veto, not 2/3 of total membership of each House of Congress.

Not sure Brad but I think if the Democrats tried to pull that stunt every Republican would be in Washington within a few hours to ensure no override would happen.

Also, as far as I’ve heard this is a pocket veto. Not a true veto.

Doesn’t mean he can’t act like a pocket veto now but have an actual veto signed and sealed in the desk drawer embargoed till just before New Years Eve to seal the deal.

Bills entered into the system in the middle of the night for voting the next morning, pro forma sessions , fly by earmarks pick your additions. Tell me that is a congress offering legislation designed to stand on it’s merits.

Nope I have been saying for months this congress is INTENTIONALLY TRYING to look like a do nothing congress.

During the last week of their session it became clear watching Cspan due to all the important bills being debated.

Talking points repeated over and over during the debates and showing up on left side blogs at the same time.

It’s the obstructionist republicans
It’s the veto happy president
We need veto proof majorities in both houses
We need a dem in the White House

Actual testimony during the debates over and over.

They willing to accomplish little if nothing more than mandatory funding bills just to whip their base into a frenzy to provide them the seats to ensure their power structure. Waste a year to achieve longer term objectives.

Now the question is was their base fooled enough to buy it or are the hacked off because they wasted time in just political gamesmanship?

Their low poll numbers give us hints. The rejection is a combination of moderates upset with their games and lack of legislation.
The anti-war socialist leaning left upset with no pullout and lack of legislation (but a whole different focus from moderate dems).

So you’re in favor of immunity for terrorism committed by Iran. Good to have you on record.