Friday, June 25, 2010

WSJ poohs novel theory mixing war and "libel"

The opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, p A21, on Thursday June 24, carried a column by David B. Rivkin. Jr. and Bruce D. Brown, “War is no place for libel law: A federal court slaps down a novel claim from a Sudanese business bombed by the U.S. in 1998”, with introductory link (web url) here. (Subscription is required to see the entire article.)

The case has to do with a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan damaged in 1998 by Clinton administration retaliation ofr Al Qaeda attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

When a direct damage liability claim was not supportable, the company sued the US for portraying them as a terrorist organization, an implication of their being targeted, and damaging their reputation.

The authors go on to discredit the legal theory, but it somewhat reminds one of “libel tourism.”

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