Iraqi Woman Uses Chilcot Report in War Crimes Lawsuit Against George W. Bush

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President George W. Bush discusses the Iraq war in Washington, May 24, 2007. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)

Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, first filed her lawsuit against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz in September 2013. Alleging that the Iraq War constituted an illegal crime of aggression, Saleh filed the suit on behalf of herself and other Iraqis in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

The district court dismissed Saleh’s lawsuit in December 2014, saying the defendants acted within the scope of their employment when they planned and carried out the Iraq War. Saleh then appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In her appeal, Saleh is arguing that the Bush officials were acting from personally held convictions that the US should invade Iraq, regardless of any legitimate policy reasons, and that theyknowingly lied to the public when they fraudulently tied Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

Inder Comar, Saleh’s lawyer, explained, “Nuremberg held that domestic immunity was not a defense to allegations of international aggression. Everything the Germans did was legal under the law. We are asking the Ninth Circuit to reject the application of domestic immunity in this case, in line with the holdings of Nuremberg.”

On July 22, Saleh urged the Ninth Circuit to take judicial notice of portions of the Chilcot Report, which makes factual conclusions about the run-up to the Iraq War. A court can take judicial notice of a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute and can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot be reasonably questioned. That includes public records, such as reports issued by a commission of inquiry.

The report was published by the Iraq Inquiry Committee, an independent committee established by the British government, on July 6, 2016, after six years of investigation, research and…

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