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Bush’s ‘pocket veto’ denies veterans the right to sue Iraq and blocks key reforms passed by Congress to clean up the Walter Reed scandal and gives those funds to rebuild Iraq

by Paul Sullivan

Update: 60 Minutes Story on Bush Blocking Tortured U.S. POWs from Pursuing Money from Iraqi Regime (from Nov. 20, 2003) Bush never tires of shafting our veterans. From 60 Minutes:

“They wanna extinguish the case. I don't know why they would want to just wipe this off the books and say it never happened,” says (Dale) Storr, who was shot down by Iraqi ground fire. ...“Let's just sweep it under the carpet and pretend it never happened.”

“I hope George Bush, the President of the United States, doesn't know about this,” says (Sen. Harry) Reid. “Because if he knows about it, if he knows about it, it's a pox on his house, his White House. This is wrong.”

60 Minutes wanted to ask the administration about all this, but Vice President Dick Cheney declined. His press aide told us he was "too busy" to talk to us. We also asked to speak with Attorney General John Ashcroft, who also declined as did Secretary of State Colin Powell. As for President Bush, in a recent press briefing, his spokesman said that while no amount of money can compensate the POWs, “it was determined earlier this year by Congress and the Administration that those assets were no longer assets of Iraq, but they were resources required for the urgent national security needs of rebuilding Iraq."

Rebuilding Iraq. Not funny, Bush. You don't have the authority to stand in the same room with these POWs you are shafting...




As if any more evidence were needed that George W. Bush has the knife out for our veterans, a couple of e-mails circulating offers the flavor of veterans' increasingly negative attitude towards the idiot occupying the oval office.

As reported in the LA Times:

President Bush surprised Congress by refusing to sign a Defense Department authorization bill, in part because the legislation could revive a lawsuit brought by American prisoners of war during the 1991 Persian Gulf War who say they were tortured by the Iraqis.

Saddam's regime tortures our troops and Bush blocks the troops' getting deserved money for treatment and suffering.

Said one veteran expressing outrage on the veto and Bush's performance in office generally in protecting veterans: "Wrong on the facts, wrong on the law, and wrong on the policy. Bush Uber Alles."

Writes Paul Sullivan, Executive Director of Veterans for Common Sense in a letter to the LA Times reporters who wrote the piece on Bush's outrageous veto.

Dear David and James,

Thank you for your detailed reporting in the Los Angeles Times about President George W. Bush’s rejection of the Defense Bill ...

As a Gulf War veteran I am deeply disappointed by President Bush’s violation of common decency and the law with his dubious ‘pocket veto’ of the Defense bill. America should be outraged that President Bush rejected legislation that would allow our wounded Gulf War veterans to sue Iraq for the torture they suffered while prisoners of war during Desert Shield / Desert Storm in 1990 – 1991.

Here is a detailed review of the Defense Bill disaster created by President Bush posted at Daily Kos:

There is no ‘pocket veto’ because Congress is in session, as Senator Jim Webb and others were shown on TV keeping Congress open:

A spokesman for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters over the weekend that the ‘pocket veto’ is not viable:

This episode brings back memories from 1999, when Gulf War veterans and Congress made it very clear that veterans should have the right to sue Iraq:

Not only does President Bush’s dubious ‘pocket veto’ deny our veterans the right to sue Iraq, it also blocks key reforms passed overwhelmingly by Congress to clean up the Walter Reed scandal caused by President Bush’s failure to plan for the 264,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans already treated at VA hospitals.

Congress must step up to the plate now and declare they are in session and fight for our service members, our veterans, and our ex-prisoners of war abandoned by President Bush.
 

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Currently there are (17) US POW's that were tortured in Iraq during gulf war 1. Bush labled Iraq as a stated sponcer of terrorism, and there is a law that says that if you are tortured by a state sponcer of terrorest you have a right to sue them. But now he is blocking these Vets that were subjected to starvation, electric stock, drug interigation, but he is allowing corporations to file suit for financal loses they incurred. This just isn't right.
 

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He's probably trying to avoid any backlash from the Iraqis who have been trying to sue merc companies like Black Water for their actions.

Deny U.S. soldiers their rights because you want to protect U.S. merc groups like Black Water from retaliatory suits.
 
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