Al Shimari v. CACI is a federal lawsuit brought by four Iraqi torture victims against private US-based contractor CACI International Inc., and CACI Premier Technology, Inc. It asserts that CACI participated directly and through a conspiracy in war crimes, including torture, and other illegal conduct while it was providing interrogation services at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
I came upon the name of CACI and the situation while listening to Abby Martin of Russia Today, RT.com on Tuesday and I was moved to write about the collateral injustices of this case. You may or may not be able to get through all of this gruesome legal fight, but even just to scan it informs you of what the Iraqis were up against and how vicious CACI is. The kicker is that now CACI, the Defendant, is suing the Iraqis, the Plaintiffs, for CACI’s legal costs.
Plaintiffs’ Notice of Appeal was filed with the Fourth Circuit on July 24, 2013. Plaintiffs’ Opening Appeal Brief is due on October, 29 and CACI’s response brief is due on December 2, 2013.
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CACI’s motion to dismiss was denied in part on March 18, 2009.
On September 21, 2011, in a 2–1 decision, a majority of the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court, and ruled that the case should be dismissed. Judges Paul V. Niemeyer and Dennis W. Shedd were in the majority, with Judge Robert B. King writing a dissent in which he found that the court lacked jurisdiction over the appeal, and that the state law claims could not be preempted. On October 5, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing en banc and Defendants filed a response. On November 8, 2011, the Fourth Circuit issued an order granting the petition for rehearing en banc.
CACI filed their en banc opening brief on November 29. Plaintiffs filed their opposition brief on December 19, 2011, and amicus briefs supporting Plaintiffs-Appellees were filed on December 20. CACI filed their reply brief on December 27, 2011.
Oral argument before the en banc panel took place on January 27, 2011.
On May 11, 2012, the en banc panel, in an 11–3 decision, issued an order dismissing the appeal and remanding the case to the district court.
Plaintiffs filed a motion to reinstate the ATS claims in the case on October 11, 2012. The district court granted the motion on November 1, 2012, reinstating the ATS claims of war crimes, torture, and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Plaintiffs’ expert reports were disclosed on February 1, 2013.
A hearing on CACI’s motion to dismiss conspiracy claims, and CACI International, was heard March 8, 2013. Judge Gerald Lee granted CACI’s motion to dismiss CACI International, Inc, and granted CACI Premier Technology’s motion to dismiss conspiracy claims without prejudice.
On April 4, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Third Amended Complaint.
On April 12, 2013, the Court heard CACI’s motion to dismiss the three Baghdad based plaintiffs on the grounds that they failed to appear for their depositions; those Plaintiffs had been granted visas to travel to the U.S. in February, but were prevented for unknown reasons from boarding their flight to the U.S. The Court denied CACI’s motion to dismiss the Baghdad Plaintiffs.
On April 24, 2013, CACI filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Alien Tort Statute claims (war crimes, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment) on the basis of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum. Plaintiffs’ response was filed on Friday, May 3, 2013.
On May 10, 2013, the Court heard CACI’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Alien Tort Statute claims in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum Co, as well as to dismiss three of the Plaintiffs’ common law claims.
On June 26, 2013, Judge Lee dismissed Plaintiffs’ case, finding that the Alien Tort Statute could not apply to violations occurring outside the United States, and that the remaining common law claims were barred because Iraqi law applied.
In essence, this was an attempt to dismiss the crimes against humanity CACI was in the business of making, and then, adding insult to injury, to have the Plaintiff’s pay CACI reparations.
Al Shimari v. CACI was originally brought against L-3 Services Incorporated (formerly Titan Corporation), CACI International Inc., and Timothy Dugan, a former employee of CACI. CACI and L-3 Services were the U.S. government contractors responsible for interrogation and translation services, respectively, at Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities in Iraq. L-3 Services and Timothy Dugan have since been dismissed as Defendants in the case. The complaint alleges that CACI directed and participated in illegal conduct, including torture, at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where it was hired by the U.S. to provide interrogation services. The four Plaintiffs had all been held at the “hard site” in Abu Ghraib prison.
The suit, brought under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and federal question jurisdiction, brings claims arising from violations of U.S. and international law including torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; war crimes; assault and battery; sexual assault and battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent hiring and supervision; and negligent infliction of emotional distress. There are also civil conspiracy and aiding and abetting counts attached to most of these charges. Through this action, Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages.
Among the heinous acts to which the four Plaintiffs were subjected at the hands of the Defendant and certain government co-conspirators were: electric shocks; repeated brutal beatings; sleep deprivation; sensory deprivation; forced nudity; stress positions; sexual assault; mock executions; humiliation; hooding; isolated detention; and prolonged hanging from the limbs.
All of the Plaintiffs are innocent Iraqis who were ultimately released without ever being charged with a crime. Their crime was fighting back legally. They all continue to suffer from physical and mental injuries caused by the torture and other abuse.
Suhail Najim Abdullah Al Shimari was detained from 2003 until 2008, during which he was held at Abu Ghraib “hard site” for about two months. While he was there, CACI and its co-conspirators tortured him in various ways. He was subjected to electric shocks, deprived of food, threatened by dogs, and kept naked while forced to engage in physical activities to the point of exhaustion.
Taha Yaseen Arraq Rashid was detained from 2003 until 2005, during which he was imprisoned at Abu Ghraib “hard site” for about three months. While detained there, CACI and its co-conspirators tortured Mr. Rashid by placing him in stress positions for extended periods of time, humiliating him, depriving him of oxygen, food, and water, shooting him in the head with a taser gun, and by beating him so severely that he suffered from broken limbs and vision loss. Mr. Rashid was forcibly subjected to sexual acts by a female as he was cuffed and shackled to cell bars. He was also forced to witness the rape of a female prisoner.
Sa’ad Hamza Hantoosh Al-Zuba’e was imprisoned at Abu Ghraib from 2003 until 2004. CACI and its co-conspirators tortured him while he was detained thereby subjecting him to extremely hot and cold water, beating his genitals with a stick, and detaining him in a solitary cell in conditions of sensory deprivation for almost a full year.
Salah Hasan Nusaif Jasim Al-Ejaili was imprisoned at the Abu Ghraib “hard site” for approximately four months. While he was there, CACI and its co-conspirators stripped him and kept him naked, threatened him with dogs, deprived him of food, beat him, and kept him in a solitary cell in conditions of sensory deprivation.
In the end of this “tedious argument of insidious intent” CACI walked away, leaving the plaintiffs holding the bag of litigation costs to be paid by the victims. Justice was not served; the violated lost their case. And CACI still works for the true terrorists, the US government.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City. An EBook version of his book of poems “State Of Shock,” on 9/11 and its after effects is now available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. He has also written hundreds of articles on politics and government as Associate Editor of Intrepid Report (formerly Online Journal). Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.