Single Iraqi mother Sundus Saleh, against former US president George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz.
Senior members of the Bush administration are being sued by an international team of lawyers, led by former attorney general Ramsey Clark, over the illegal war in Iraq.
The lawsuit was filed May 27 on behalf of a single Iraqi mother, Sundus Saleh, against former US president George W. Bush and his vice president Richard Cheney, secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state Colin Powell, and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz.
According to the complaint filed in the US Court of Appeals, Bush administration officials “broke the law in conspiring and committing the crime of aggression against the people of Iraq.”
“The invasion resulted in the total destruction of a beautiful, peaceful country,” said Saleh. “The invasion didn’t destroy only the country’s infrastructure, buildings and heritage; it destroyed millions of families and their dreams.”
Clark, who argued that the lawsuit is important for the US public, said Saleh’s case represents a crucial struggle for anyone concerned with human rights.
In 2003, Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq under the pretext that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In October 2004, however, a CIA report revealed that Saddam did not have any active WMD program at the time of the invasion.
A previous attempt by Saleh to sue the Bush administration in the US District Court for the Northern District of California was met with resistance from the US government, including lawyers of the Obama administration.
The court ruled that members of the Bush administration had immunity from a civil lawsuit.
The recent one, however, has received remarkable support from an internationally prominent group of lawyers.
“Defendants planned the war against Iraq as early as 1998; manipulated the United States public to support the war by scaring them with images of ‘mushroom clouds’ and conflating the (Saddam) Hussein regime with al-Qaeda; and broke international law by commencing the invasion without proper legal authorization,” read the complaint.
Approximately one million people were killed in Iraq during the course of the US-led invasion and occupation of the country from 2003 until 2011.
The US war in Iraq has cost American taxpayers $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans. The expenses could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, according to a study called Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.