View Full Version : Former Persian Gulf War POW in Vegas trying to collect from Iraq

09-19-03, 02:08 PM
Former Persian Gulf War POW in Vegas trying to collect from Iraq

8:25 a.m. September 19, 2003

LAS VEGAS Jeff Tice describes his 46 days as a prisoner of war in the Persian Gulf War as a footnote in his life.

But he and 16 other ex-POWs hope to write a final paragraph to the story of their captivity in 1991, while giving clout to future prisoners under the Geneva Convention to hold rogue nations accountable for torture.

They have enlisted the help of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is retooling language in a budget measure, and from Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., co-author of the POW Protection Act of 2003.

On the eve of National POW/MIA Recognition Day on Friday, Tice said he was trying to put his experience in perspective.

"I don't want to minimize what happened to me or my fellow POWs," he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a Thursday interview outside the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse in Las Vegas. "We're glad to be back alive and, essentially, in one piece."

"Now we have to go through with the final step," Tice said. "We're getting accountability. We have awareness. Now our focus is on deterrence."

Tice, 48, is now an airline pilot who moved from Sellersville, Pa., to Las Vegas in 1999. He spoke of brutality he endured in captivity and a lawsuit he and other ex-POWs won this summer in Washington, D.C., against the Republic of Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts of the District of Columbia awarded more than $959 million to the ex-POWs and 37 family members.

But money from Iraqi assets has been transferred to a federal reserve bank, and L. Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq, has told the court he needs the money to rebuild the country. Justice Department attorneys have argued that because Saddam Hussein has been ousted, Iraq is immune from such lawsuits.

Tice, who ejected over Iraq after his F-16 was hit by a surface-to-air missile, stands to receive $26 million.

"I'm not in it for the money," he said. "It's been 12 years since enemy captivity, and I'm not a professional POW." Tice said he would donate his award to charity and to a fund for future ex-POWs.

He said the ex-POWs agree that rebuilding Iraq is a valid cause, but feel that funds should be replenished from accounts the former regime hid around the world.

He hopes the amendment Reid is crafting will make the Iraqi government pay into an account for the ex-POWs as assets become available.

Tice said the idea is to hold countries that torture prisoners accountable for not following the Geneva Convention.

"As strange as it may seem, wars have rules," he said.

According to the ex-POWs' lawsuit, Tice was beaten, kicked and tortured with electric shocks after he was captured and turned over to Saddam's military and the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

He refused to give any information other than his name, rank and serial number.

Tice called National POW/MIA Recognition Day a chance to show support for those who have endured captivity, torture or death in war.

"It's an opportunity for everyone in America to thank those guys and simply spend a minute and think about them," he said.


Associated Press
While sitting in front of the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas, Jeff Tice, discusses his experience as a prisoner of war during the first Persian Gulf War and his involvement in a federal lawsuit for compensation to him and 16 ex-prisoners of war.