March 14, 2007, - 12:33 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: Federal Judge Robert G. Doumar rules Sudan is responsible for U.S.S. Cole bombing. He’ll soon decide damages. But as I wrote below, the key will be collecting from Sudan, without U.S. government interference. ****
Yesterday, the civil trial against Sudan, brought by relatives of 17 victims of the terrorist bombing attack on the U.S.S. Cole, began.
After much legal maneuvering, the government of Sudan–long a welcoming sponsor of Islamic terrorism, even against its own people–will finally face justice, hopefully. The families are seeking $105 million in damages.
“Sudan’s material support … including continuous flow of funding, money, weapons, logistical support, diplomatic passports and religious blessing, was crucial in enabling the attack on the USS Cole,” lawyers for the families said in court papers outlining their case.
“These 17 sailors were murdered,” said Louge Gunn, who testified about how he had contemplated killing himself after his 22-year-old son’s death.
“I dropped the phone. I went into a panic,” Gunn testified. “I fell to the floor on my knees. It was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to me. I felt like somebody had put their hand in the inside of my body and pulled my skin out.”
The families’ lawyers intend to prove that Sudan has given safe haven to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network since 1991 – long before Yemeni operatives blasted a 40-foot-hole in the side of the Cole in Yemen’s port of Aden on Oct. 12, 2000.
Winning a judgment against Sudan is one thing. Collecting it will be another. If the suit is victorious, it will remain to be seen whether the Bush Administration and the future Rodham Cankles White House will allow the families to collect. Both the Mr. Cankles and Bush Administrations have blocked various terror-victim families from collecting money judgments from the Government of Iran.
Most well-known is the case of my friend, Stephen Flatow of New Jersey, father of Islamic Jihad victim Alisa Flatow. Both Administrations fought him in his efforts to collect money judgments he won against Iran.
This is one of those rare, worthy Plaintiff’s lawsuits where I say: Sic’ em, lawyers.
Tags: al-Qaeda, Alisa Flatow, Bush administration, Debbie Schlussel, federal judge, Government of Iran, Islamic Jihad, Islamic Republic of Iran, Louge Gunn, New Jersey, Osama bin Laden, Robert G. Doumar, S. Cole Trial Starts By Debbie, Stephen Flatow, Sudan, terrorist network, U.S. government, United States, USD, White House, Yemen, Yemen's port of Aden