Category Archives: Witness Iraq

Why Comar Law

jpegComar Law’s involvement in civil and human rights cases is what naturally attracted the firm in representing an Iraqi woman against members of the Bush Administration in federal court.


Comar Law has previous experience with Alien Tort Statute casesComar law’s principal, Inder Comar, participated in a human rights case brought by the people of Vietnam against manufacturers of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The law used by the Vietnamese people — the Alien Tort Statute — is the same law plaintiff Sundus Saleh is using in her suit against the Bush Administration.

Comar Law has fought against the US government on issues of public importanceIn 2012, Comar Law participated in a historic lawsuit against current and former Secretaries of Defense related to the problem of sexual assault in the United States military. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, helped spark public debate and Congressional oversight of the military so that the plague of sexual violence against US servicemen and women could be addressed.

Comar Law has a proven track record in civil rights cases. Comar Law is currently litigating a lawsuit against the State of California related to its treatment of HIV positive patient inmates. Comar Law successfully defeated the State’s motion to dismiss. The case is currently in court-ordered settlement talks.

Comar Law works with the courts to protect fundamental rights. Comar Law regularly receives appointments from the courts of appeal in California regarding potential violations of the Bill of Rights in criminal trials.

Comar Law’s principal, Inder Comar, went to law school at the New York University School of Law, renowned for its program in international law. At NYU, Mr. Comar studied the Nuremberg Trials and their effect on international law. Mr. Comar received two Bachelor Degrees from Stanford University in Psychology and International Relations, and a Masters Degree in Sociology.

Prior to opening Comar Law, Mr. Comar worked for Latham & Watkins LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world, where he handled complex commercial and international litigations.

This background, particularly in fighting powerful interests, makes Comar Law a natural fit in litigating issues surrounding the Iraq War.

Congress must repeal the 9/11 Authorization of Use of Force

Congress must repeal the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) that it passed three days after 9/11.

The AUMF was passed on September 14, 2001. It authorizes the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force” against anyone who the President “determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”

Almost 12 years after 9/11, the AUMF has become a carte blanche to the Executive Branch to use military force at whim.


Prior to the Iraq War, the AUMF was cited by Congress as an additional  justification for that invasion.

As Michael Crowley noted in Time almost a year ago, the AUMF is now being cited by President Obama as justification for drone strikes around the world.

Representative Barbara Lee is now calling for a repeal of the AUMF.

Because of the AUMF, the Executive no longer needs to seek permission from Congress before initiating military action.

This is in direct contravention of the Constitution. The Framers clearly intended Congress to have the power to declare war, and not the President.

In a 1798 letter to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison explained, “The constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature.”

Alexander Hamilton concurred in Federalist No. 69 that the power of “declaring of war, and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies; all which by the constitution under consideration would appertain to the Legislature.”

The AUMF circumscribes the Congressional check on military intervention; and without such a check, Congress cannot balance the actions of the Executive — the system of “checks-and-balances” between these two branches is then severed.

The AUMF should be repealed and Congress made to enter into a debate regarding the necessity of further military action with respect to al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks.

If the AUMF is not repealed, it will be continually used to justify further military action without oversight by Congress.

Ending the banality of militarism

A chief aim of the Witness Iraq lawsuits against six members of the Bush Administration — Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz — is helping to end the banality of militarism.

1389.9 Holocaust A

In 1963, Hannah Arendt, observing the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, concluded that the Holocaust was not really the work of sociopaths.

Rather, it was the work of normal people who simply accepted the ideology of the Nazi regime and thought that what was happening was normal.

She called this the “banality of evil” – reflecting the fact that evil had become commonplace and trite.

In the United States, there is a similar banality of militarism.

The idea of invading countries, bombing cities around the world, and using military force to respond to complex international problems is simply taken for granted.

It has become commonplace and trite.

But it is neither commonplace nor trite for the victims of militarism – both the innocents who die abroad, and for the members of the United States armed forces who take orders from civilian leaders and then suffer the physical and mental consequences of executing such orders.

More than sixty years ago, the United States declared that militarism was wrong, and it created an international legal regime designed to govern the affairs of nations and prevent aggression.

Part of that regime required international approval of military actions so countries could not engage in military actions at will.

If Americans wish to take their system of justice seriously, then leaders must remain accountable under law for engaging in conduct that is illegal or criminal under international law.

By holding leaders accountable, it is possible to highlight this pernicious banality of militarism that currently exists in the United States.

Military action must be the very last option for any country committed to living in a global society consisting of other sovereign nations.

The Witness Iraq lawsuits seek to apply international law in such a way that the banality of militarism can be confronted in a court of law.

It is high time to end the banality of militarism and to recognize that military action, even in the best of circumstances, is a malevolent and heinous event.

What happens next – Key Date – May 22, 2013

Witness Iraq has notified the defendants in the civil action — George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz — by mail of the lawsuits.

Witness Iraq has requested a response from counsel from all defendants by May 22, 2013.

In the event that counsel does not respond, Witness Iraq will issue the summons and personally serve any and all defendants within the jurisdiction of the Northern District of California.

Upon successful service of the summons and the complaints, the defendants will have 21 days to respond.

If the defendants do not respond, the plaintiffs may seek a “default judgment” from the federal court.