Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Opposes a Criminal or Civil Claim against Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Others.

Winter 2006

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) opposes the vacuous political efforts to have outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others face civil or criminal charges brought by former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan for what appears to be purely political purposes. The prisoners, represented by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), contend that Rumsfeld and other high-ranking military officials ignored warnings about the alleged abuse of these prisoners, and they were in violation of their constitutional rights. This once again confirms our proposal that no American troops or officials be assigned to any country which does not grant them immunity. This was recently shown in Belgium, where NATO is erecting new buildings, and in Germany, where U.S. troops number 65,000. In both instances the suits were denied lest the U.S. withdraw funding and personnel. But what will happen after the U.S. withdraws from the country? The JWV has long been on record in opposing the jurisdiction of civil courts, and such entities as the International Criminal Court, to try American government officials or our troops for actions committed in the course of their terms of office or actions (political or military). Such prosecutions would leave civil courts free to try cases which ought to be adjudicated by military courts. Such cases could also lead to officials of a sovereign government being tried by courts with no jurisdiction to adjudicate internal matters of another sovereign government. It is for this reason that government officials are generally immune from civil suits related to their jobs as representatives of a government entity. The JWV supports this position and urges the Federal judge hearing this case to dismiss these claims. Our officials and military officers must be free to conduct their jobs as they see fit without the threat of prosecution from a civil court or an international body that does not have jurisdiction over the actions of the representatives of a sovereign nation. No immunity—no participation.


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