July 30 — Former U.S. fighter pilots held prisoner by Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War can’t collect compensation from seized Iraqi money that President George W. Bush set aside to rebuild that country, a U.S. judge said.
The former fighter pilots had been awarded $959 million in damages for their lawsuit charging they were tortured by Iraq during their captivity. The U.S. seized $1.7 billion from Iraq and has spent part of the money on reconstruction since Bush earmarked the funds for that purpose. At least $700 million remains in the account.
Question for my students: How is this case similar to and different from that of Belk v. United States (1988), in which the Iranian hostages were attempting to recover damages from seized Iranian assets?