Iraq: the pay-off

“2/27/2005 Taji, Iraq Claim on behalf of Iraqi [Redacted] by father. Father was driving his family towards Taji. Near a gas station, a US convoy pulled up beside him and behind him. A convoy shot into the car, killing his daughter and wounding his wife and other daughter. The car was also damaged. Finding: lack of evidence of US involvement. Claim denied for lack of evidence despite the presence of three eyewitnesses (father, wife, and daughter).”

The above excerpt comes from “records”:http://www.aclu.org/natsec/foia/log.html obtained by the “ACLU”:http://www.aclu.org/ relating claims of compensation by civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been in some way injured by the armed forces in their countries. With all the bombing, convoying and raiding we do over there, it’s no surprise that civilian property gets destroyed or even that people are occasionally killed. What I didn’t count on is that we have a system for dealing with that. It’s called the Foreign Claims Act and so far the United States has awarded over $32 million to Iraqi and Afghani civilians for injuries, wrongful death, and damage to property.

The above picture by New York Times photographer Joao Silva shows just how cruel the idea of monetary compensation for life is. This “New York Times report”:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/world/middleeast/12abuse.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin details in full the way in which civilians can file a claim and provides a number of examples of just how much an Iraqi life is officially worth to the United States, sometimes as little as $500. It’s well worth reading, as well as looking over some of the claims at the ACLU “website”:http://www.aclu.org/natsec/foia/log.html/.