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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 28, 2007

Fact Sheet: National Defense Authorization Act Section 1083: A Danger to Iraq's Progress
President Bush To Veto National Defense Authorization Act, Work With
Congress To Quickly Pass Technical Fix To Protect U.S. Interests And
Iraqi Assets

      Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel
      In Focus: Iraq

President Bush intends to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for FY08 (NDAA) because particular provisions included in the bill risk imposing financially devastating hardship on Iraq that will unacceptably interfere with the political and economic progress everyone agrees is critically important to bringing our troops home. Section 1083 of the NDAA amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which establishes rules on how foreign countries may be sued under U.S. law. The amendments would dramatically change these rules and potentially invite foreign governments to take reciprocal action allowing suits to proceed against the United States even for legitimate government activities. Among other things, Section 1083 would allow plaintiffs' lawyers pursuing Iraq for Saddam-era acts of terrorism to freeze Iraq's assets in the amount of damages claimed in their lawsuits, and would permit the relitigation of billions of dollars of lawsuits against Iraq that have already been dismissed by our courts. At the same time, by subjecting the democratically elected Government of Iraq to this liability, the provision would imperil billions of dollars of Iraqi assets at a crucial juncture in that Nation's reconstruction efforts and undermine the foreign policy and commercial interests of the United States.

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