War Contractor Claims He Was Defamed

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity has been sued for defamation by Nour USA and Abdul Farouki over an article that said they “improperly profited from the war in Iraq” due to their alleged inappropriate ties to Ahmed Chalabi and the Bush administration.

     The Vienna, Va.-based plaintiffs claim the defendant, based in Petrolia, Calif., defamed them in an article by co-defendant Evelyn Pringle, published on the Counterpunch Web sit in April 2007, under the headline, “The Inexplicable Enrichment of Bush Cronies – The Iraq Money Trail.”
     Nour claims the Institute’s editors, nonparties Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, edited the article.
     The Superior Court complaint cites these allegedly defamatory statements:
     “The Iraq Article falsely claims, as a matter of fact, that ‘Chalabi footprints in the profiteering racket back be traced back to September 2003, when the CPA awarded an $80 million contract to Nour USA, a company with ties to Winston Partners.’ This statement is defamatory as it portrays Nour USA as a company which is wrongfully gaining favor with the United States government because of its ties to another company – Winston Partners – that is headed by the brother of the President, Marvin Bush.”
     Nour claims the statement is defamatory also because the awarding of the contract had nothing to do with Ahmed Chalabi.
     “The Iraq Article falsely claims, as a matter of fact, that a ‘$327 million contract was in jeopardy after it was revealed that Nour had no experience providing military equipment and Nour claimed that it planned to subcontract its weapons procurement to Ostrowski Arms.'” In fact, Nour says, “Nour USA was paid for the ‘termination for convenience’ of the contract by the United States Government, the contract was put out for rebid and Nour USA won the contract a second time,” and was commended for its performance.
     Nour claims the allegedly defamatory statements “damages Nour USA’s reputation in its business and resulted in lost business.”
     Represented by Mitchell Weitzman of Arlington, Va., Nour demands $20 million.

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