65 trillion?? what? What about your socialist commie views???Judge awards $65 million to USS Pueblo crew
By PETER ROPER
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN | Posted: Thursday, January 1, 2009 12:00 am
The former crew of the USS Pueblo had its day in court this week when U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered North Korea to pay three crewmen, as well as the estate of former Cmdr. Lloyd Bucher, more than $65 million in damages for the torture they endured during 11 months of captivity in 1968.
The court decision, which was handed down Tuesday in Washington, D.C., may be all the crew members ever receive in terms of actual payment, but Kennedy said the plaintiffs had demonstrated they were subjected to "extensive and shocking" treatment by their North Korean captors, abuse that affects them to this day.
The USS Pueblo was a small Navy spy ship that was seized by North Korean patrol boats on Jan. 23, 1968.
One of the crew, Fireman Duane Hodges, was killed in the attack. The other 82 crew members were held prisoners for 11 months. During that time, the men frequently were beaten and tortured, and even put through mock executions.
The lawsuit against North Korea was filed by crew members William Thomas Massie, Donald R. McClarren, Dunnie Richard Tuck and Mrs. Rose Bucher, on behalf of her late husband's estate. Lloyd "Pete" Bucher, the commander of the Pueblo, died in 2004. Normally, foreign governments are immune from lawsuits in U.S. courts, except that Congress created an exception for nations that are identified as sponsoring terrorism. That exception allowed the Pueblo crewmen to file the lawsuit in 2006.
North Korea never responded to the suit, leaving Kennedy to take testimony from the plaintiffs and then enter a judgment.
Kennedy awarded the four crew members in the lawsuit $10,000 a day for their 11 months of captivity (amounting to $3.3 million each), plus $13.4 million each for continued pain and suffering after their release. Mrs. Bucher was awarded $1.25 million separately, as well as the award to her late husband's estate.
In his decision, Kennedy detailed the crew members physical injuries while captured and the permanent aftereffects, starting with post-traumatic stress disorder and continuing through damaged spines, arms and legs, hearing loss and chronic pain.
"In this case, Massie, Tuck, and McClarren suffered physical and mental harm that has endured for the past 39 years and likely will continue to endure throughout the rest of their lives," Kennedy wrote. "Cmdr. Bucher suffered such effects until he died."
Efforts to contact the crew members who won the judgment were unsuccessful Wednesday, but Alvin Plucker, a crew member who lives in Fort Lupton, said the court decision was satisfying.
"All of us knew that any kind of lawsuit was going to be a long shot in terms of ever getting anything out of the North Koreans, but it's still nice to stick it to them," Plucker said.
Although the North Koreans released the surviving crew on Dec. 23, 1968, they have kept the Pueblo itself as a war trophy. Congress repeatedly has passed resolutions urging the State Department to press for the release of the ship. Bucher supported that campaign while alive and many of the crew continue to do so.
SURRRE, KIM JONG UN'S GOT 65 TRILLION BUT CHA CAN'T HAVE IT AS HE NEEDS TO BUILD HIS NEW BOMB AND A NEW MISSILE.
I thought you hated the rich Dengster??? Are you a worse hypocrite than Doc Hypocrite??