The decision to appeal the district court order dismissing the Witness Iraq lawsuit and Ms. Saleh’s inquiry into the Iraq War was not made lightly.
After more than a year and half of effort, the prospect of an appeal that might end in the same outcome is, frankly, a daunting one.
After reviewing the case law and affirming that the Nuremberg Principles should apply in this matter, the necessity of an appeal became self-evident.
Nuremberg gives a court sufficient justification to examine the claims brought by Ms. Saleh and to investigate whether the conduct of government leaders in planning and waging the Iraq War was illegal under domestic and international law.
Whether a United States court will accept this invitation remains to be seen.
But other than the Chilcot Inquiry in the United Kingdom, there is no other meaningful effort today examining the legality of the Iraq War.
Even as Iraq descends into further chaos, and even as paramilitary groups such as the Islamic State gain strength, it is too easy to forget that the current bloodshed in Iraq is the bitter fruit of the poisonous tree that was the initial invasion.
We will brief these issues to the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit and hope that it can be convinced that a judicial inquiry is finally warranted, and that Ms. Saleh’s claims for damages can proceed.
We must envision the world we want to live in and work hard every day to build that world.
It is possible to live in a world where warmaking is governed by law, and where leaders cannot invade other countries without the prospect of accountability for such decisions.
Such was the promise of the Nuremberg Trials themselves.
If Nuremberg is to mean anything, its prohibitions against international aggression must be acknowledged by US jurists and apply to US leaders.
This was the promise that American prosecutors gave to the international tribunal more than 60 years ago. We must keep that promise or else we will return to the world that existed before 1939 and the Second World War.