Once labeled the "highest-ranking Iraqi terrorist ever to defect to the West," and still considered "one of the true heroes in the international battle against terrorism," Adnan Awad risked his life and sacrificed his past to help the United States in its fight against terrorism. Backing out of a terrorist mission, Awad turned himself in at an American embassy, joined the Witness Protection Program (WPP), and assisted U.S. government officials in thwarting terrorist plots, identifying Iraqi terrorists, and securing a verdict against a prominent terrorist. Despite all of this assistance, the government did not give Awad a hero's welcome. Instead, it repaid him with mistreatment and broken promises for which, Awad discovered, there would be no legal remedy.

Already a victim of injustice at the hands of government officials charged with his well-being, Awad also became a victim of sovereign immunity--the age-old doctrine stating that the United States, as "the sovereign," cannot be sued without its consent. When Congress passed the Tucker Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), it arguably gave Awad the green light he needed to bring his case against the government. Nevertheless, decades of judicial interpretation have eroded these congressional acts in ways that precluded Awad from enforcing his rights against the United States. Moreover, even though the Supreme Court has held that, in some instances, potential plaintiffs can bypass the restraints of sovereign immunity by bringing actions against individual government officials through a "Bivens claim," Awad could not meet the stringent standards for stating a cognizable Bivens claim...

 

Read the full article.