Skip to comments.Judge: Sudan Owes USS Cole Families $8M
Posted on 07/25/2007 4:24:08 PM PDT by Libloather
Judge: Sudan Owes USS Cole Families $8M
Jul 25, 12:38 PM (ET)
By KRISTEN GELINEAU
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Sudan to pay nearly $8 million to the families of 17 sailors killed in the 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole.
The families had sought $105 million, but U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar in Norfolk ordered Sudan to pay $7.96 million.
Doumar applied the Death on the High Seas Act, which permits compensation for economic losses but not for pain and suffering.
"It is depressing to realize that a country organized on a religious basis with religious rule of law could and would execute its power for purposes which most countries would find intolerable and loathsome," Doumar wrote in his ruling. "It is a further tragedy that the laws of the United States, in this instance, provide no remedy for the psychological and emotional losses suffered by the survivors."
The families accused Sudan's government of providing support, including money and training, that allowed al-Qaida to attack the destroyer while it was in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000. In March, Doumar found the African country liable for the attack on the now-repaired Navy destroyer. His ruling Wednesday reaffirmed those findings.
"I was a little bit disappointed in the overall ruling, because we figured we was going to get more, but I'm happy that that part of the case is over," said Lorrie Triplett, 39, of Suffolk, whose husband, Andrew, died on the Cole. "For myself and my girls, I am happy for the ruling - it will suffice them."
Sudan had sought unsuccessfully to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that too much time had passed between the bombing and the filing of the lawsuit in 2004. Lawyers representing the Sudanese government did not offer opening statements or closing arguments or question any witnesses.
An attorney for the families has said it would be up to the lawyers to collect damages from Sudan's assets that have been frozen in the United States.
Sailors from the USS Cole (DDG 67) pay their respects to buried Cole crew members at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 11, 2000. Cole sailors were invited to take part in Veterans Day receptions and ceremonies at the White House and Arlington Cemetery. The Arleigh Burke class destroyer was the target of a suspected terrorist attack in the port of Aden, Yemen, on October 12, 2000, during a scheduled refueling. The attack killed 17 crew members and injured 39 others.
USS Cole Remembrance Ceremony - 2005
Secretary Cohen, General Reno, Secretary Danzig, General Shelton, distinguished members of the Senate and House, Governor, Admiral Clark, Admiral Natter, Chaplain Black, Master Chief Hefty, to the sailors of the USS Cole, the family members and friends, the Norfolk naval community, my fellow Americans, today we honor our finest young people, fallen soldiers who rose to freedom's challenge. We mourn their loss, celebrate their lives, offer the love and prayers of a grateful nation to their families.
For those of us who have to speak here, we are all mindful of the limits of our poor words to lift your spirits or warm your hearts. We know that God has given us the gift of reaching our middle years, and we now have to pray for your children, your husbands, your wives, your brothers, your sisters, who were taken so young.
We know we will never know them as you did or remember them as you will, the first time you saw them in uniform or the last time you said goodbye.
They all had their own stories and their own dreams. We Americans have learned something about each and every one of them over these last difficult days as their profiles, their lives, their loves, their service have been given to us.
For me, I learned a little more when I met with all the families this morning. Some followed the family tradition of Navy service, others hoped to use their service to earn a college degree. One of them had even worked for me in the White House. Richard Costelow was a technology wizard who helped to update the White House communications system for this new century.
All these very different Americans, all with their different stories, their life lines and love ties, answered the same call of service and found themselves on the USS Cole headed for the Persian Gulf where our forces are working to keep peace and stability in a region that could explode and disrupt the entire world.
Their tragic loss reminds us that even when America is not at war, the men and women of our military still risk their lives for peace.
I am quite sure history will record in great detail our triumphs in battle, but I regret that no one will ever be able to write a full account of the wars we never fought, the losses we never suffered, the tears we never shed, because men and women like those who were on the USS Cole were standing guard for peace. We should never ever forget that.
Today, I ask all Americans just to take a moment to thank the men and women of our armed forces for a debt we can never repay, whose character and courage more than even modern weapons makes our military the strongest in the world.
And in particular, I ask us to thank God today for the lives, the character and courage of the crew of the USS Cole, including the wounded and especially those we lost or are missing: Home Maintenance Technician Third Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter; Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow; Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis; Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna; Signalman Seaman Apprentice Cheron Ouis Gunn; Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels; Engineman Second Class Mark Ian Nieto; Electronics Warfare Technician Third Class Ronald Scott Owens; Seaman Apprentice Lakiba Nicole Palmer; Engine Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett; Fireman Apprentice Patrick Howard Roy; Electronics Warfare Technician Second Class Kevin Shawn Rux; Mess Management Specialist Third Class Ronchester Mananga Santiago; Operations Specialist Second Class Timothy Lamont Saunders; Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr.; Ensign Andrew Triplett; Seaman Apprentice Craig Bryan Wibberley.
In the names and faces of those we lost and mourn, the world sees our nation's greatest strength: people in uniform rooted in every race, creed and region on the face of the Earth, yet bound together by a common commitment to freedom and a common pride in being Americans.
That same spirit is living today as the crew of the USS Cole pulls together in a determined struggle to keep the determined warrior afloat.
The idea of common humanity and unity amidst diversity, so purely embodied by those we mourn today, must surely confound the minds of the hate-filled terrorists who killed them. They envy our strength without understanding the values that give us strength. For them, it is their way or no way: their interpretation, twisted though it may be, of a beautiful religious tradition; their political views; their racial and ethnic views. Their way or no way.
Such people can take innocent life. They have caused your tears and anguish, but they can never heal or build harmony or bring people together. That is work only free, law-abiding people can do, people like the sailors of the USS Cole.
To those who attacked them we say: You will not find a safe harbor. We will find you and justice will prevail.
America will not stop standing guard for peace or freedom or stability in the Middle East and around the world. But some way, some day, people must learn the lesson of the lives of those we mourn today, of how they worked together, of how they lived together, of how they reached across all the lines that divided them and embraced their common humanity and the common values of freedom and service.
Not far from here, there is a quiet place that honors those who gave their lives in service to our country. Adorning its entrance are words from a poem by Archibald MacLeish, not only a tribute to the young we lost, but a summons to those of us left behind. Listen to them.
"The young no longer speak, but they have a silence that speaks for them at night. They say, we were young, remember us. They say, we have done what we could, but until it is finished, it is not done. They say, our deaths are not ours, they are yours. They will mean what you make them. They say, whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope, we cannot say. It is you who must say this. They say, we leave you our deaths; give them their meaning."
The lives of the men and women we lost on the USS Cole meant so much to those who loved them, to all Americans, to the cause of freedom.
They have given us their deaths, let us give them their meaning, their meaning of peace and freedom, of reconciliation and love, of service, endurance and hope. After all they have given us, we must give them their meaning.
I ask now that you join me in a moment of silence and prayer for the lost, the missing and their grieving families.
Amen. Thank you, and may God bless you all.
I think he said the same thing after the 1996 Khobar Towers attack.
I’m certain that al-Qaida will readily comply with the ruling of a qualified court.
Damn, those crickets are loud...
The entire Sudan is only worth around $4 million. Let Clinton reach into his bribe stuffed pockets and pay up: He’s as guilty as anyone.
*nodding sagely* No kidding...
They’ll be lucky to collect $8.00
“Theyll be lucky to collect $8.00”
Did the Iranian hostages ever collect from Iran?
So when some bastards—ANY— bunch of bastards kills them in cold blood the nation OWES them vengence.
They are the only thing between this nation and a state of nature.
All terrorists and any gov’t that in any way, manner, shape or form supported them should have had the fear of God put into them-—Diplomacy be damned!.
But no.... Two hundred and fortysix marines, the sailors on the Cole are just casualty statistics to our leaders.
Way too low.
I think there was a financial settlement, based on Iranian bank accounts in the US...
Not that I am aware of.
“ordered Sudan to pay $7.96 million.
Way too low.”
US taxpayers pay way more than 8 million a year for Sudanese refugees from Darfur living in the US.
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