Manuel Noriega Files Lawsuit Over Video Game He Alleges Defamed Him

Submitted By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Manuel NoriegaManuel Noriega, the former leader of Panama known for his indictment in the United States for drug smuggling, racketeering, and money laundering and his subsequent imprisonment, filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging the game maker Activision Blizzard defamed him. The game in question is the popular “Call of Duty: Black Ops II”.

Manuel believes being portrayed “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state” in the game damaged his reputation. He further claims the company used his likeness and name in order to make money. Therefore, he is entitled to a share of the profits.

The game returned over a billion dollars in sales worldwide within months of release.

Manuel argues in the lawsuit that his portrayal “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state” in the 2012 video game damaged his reputation. The company used his image and name in order to make money, the lawsuit says, therefore he’s entitled to a share of the profits.

“Plaintiff was portrayed as an antagonist as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorized to use plaintiff’s image and likeness,” the lawsuit claims.

The developers of the game hired personalities such as Oliver North for voice acting and consultation services. Manuel claims in his lawsuit he was not consulted or compensated for his depiction in the game. Additionally David Patraeus is portrayed as secretary of defense in one of the game scenarios.

Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment made by CNN.

By Darren Smith


Government of Panama (Photo Credit)

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

46 thoughts on “Manuel Noriega Files Lawsuit Over Video Game He Alleges Defamed Him”

  1. Say that in the mirror, Spinelli. Its a far more inteligent comment than yours. My teeth are good, thank you. I’ll say it again: HW Bush has been a far more dangerous and cruel character than Noriega ever was. You are far too pumped up with PR & false pride in US military operations to be able to see the truth in that statement. He was too young to set up Hitler financially as his father did, but he helped get Pol Pot in power in Cambodia and appears to be responsible for a lot of the drug trafficking in Columbia. They have their country back now, Columbia, thanks in no small part to Hubbard’s way to Happiness booklet.

    1. Pete – some people like to avoid answering simple questions.

  2. Reading here late in the evening can be like listening to Art Bell. When I did late night surveillance I would sometimes listen to the Art Bell radio show. There is some crossover between his callers and a few commenters here.

  3. paul

    -if you believe that Noriega’s actions on behalf of the U.S. are irrelevant, then you probably believe that Oswald’s service to the FBI, CIA, and ONI are also irrelevant. Ditto Osama bin “Patsy” Ladin, and many others. Hugo Chavez was elected in what former President Carter said was “the most honest election he knew of” – yet you probably drank the kool aid propaganda that he too was an evil dictator and deserved to be killed in the same manner as Jack Ruby – by the same forces you obviously know very little about.

    GHW bush was photographed in Dealy Plaza on 11-22-63, and Mrs. Reagan never allowed the bushes to visit in the private quarters of the WHouse, because she, like many other people, believed he had something to do with the attempted assassination of President Reagan, and bush also denied any involvement with the stolen 1980 election, iran/Contra etc.

    You should get yourself informed & stop spewing disinformation and right-wing propaganda. Are you a formal Tea Party member?

    1. bill – you need to read what I wrote closely. Speed reading will not do it. Simple question. Is Manuel Noriega an evil dictator? Yes or no.

  4. I’m going see if the PC can handle the game. Intel I7 core CPU, 16 gig memory, dual video GPU’s Intel and Nvidia 1080p HD resolution,
    Dolby 5.1 surround sound, toslink optical out, HDMI out, Samsung EVO 1T SSD drive. Gaming rig is ready. OK. So who wants to play the game “Call of Duty”? I want to play Manuel first.

  5. Paul — why was CIA paying Noriega $100K yearly if he was an “evil dictator”?

    One of the main reasons why Bush killed all those civilian Panamanians as part of the illegal invasion of Panama and subsequent kidnapping Noriega, is fear that Noriega would expose the reality of his being a CIA asset – and might expose enough truth about Poppy to cause big problems for the ’92 bush presidential campaign.

    You really need to get up to speed before you make uninformed comments – or
    do you know more than you appear, and are intentionally spreading misinformation.

    1. bill – Noriega’s connections to the CIA came out during his trial but was found by the judge to be irrelevant. The US has dealt with evil people before. Can I point you to Operation Paperclip? Do you deny that Noriega was an ‘evil dictator’?

      1. ” Noriega’s connections to the CIA came out during his trial but was found by the judge to be irrelevant. ”

        It might be irrelevant to questions of law raised at trial and at the same time on point regarding why the US invaded Panama.

        “The US has dealt with evil people before. Can I point you to Operation Paperclip? Do you deny that Noriega was an ‘evil dictator’?””

        So how does the purported fact of ‘evil dictator’ distinguish Noriega from many other allies of the US and other heads of state of nations that are members of the UN?

        The question remains why was Noriega taken down and I think the best answer is that he publicly said mean and embarrassing things about the US. Does anyone really believe that if he had praised the US and professed eternal friendship between our two countries that he would have been taken down?

        Can you name any other examples of purported criminal activity by a head of state leading to war between the US and that other sovereign nation?

        Can you name any two nations at all where criminal activity of the head of state lead to war between the two nations?

        Can you name any examples where war between two sovereign nations, based on LE issues of the head of one nation, was recognized as a legal war by the international community?

        Note the criminal activity we are talking about is not related to the great international crimes like atrocities, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. And the sovereign nation is not a broken, non functional government but rather a nation with a government that compares favorably with many, perhaps most other nations, in the world then and now.

        The example of Panama seems to set a standard that the US can invade any nation where the US claims a LE case against the national head of state.

        There are at least three questions that seem to flow from that position.

        Is it sufficient that the LE violation be committed by the head of state or does the LE violation have to reflect a national policy of the state?

        Would the US claim a similar right to wage war if the LE case were only against a high government official rather than the head of state?

        And how does that LE standard for a legal war compare with internationally recognized standards to determine a legal or just war? My recollection is that internationally recognized standards for legal war include 1) self defense from an aggressor, and 2) defensive action against an immanent threat.

        I have to wonder what kind of LE violation by a head of state could rise to a level that could reasonably be considered an immanent threat to a nation with the size, economic and military resources of the US?

        1. bfm – I am working on a simple question here. Is or is not Manuel Noriega an evil dictator? Once that is answered we can move on to other parts of the discussion.

          1. Actually I thought he was a president or something. But as far as I am concerned he is evil and probably had effective control over Panama.

            I suppose I ought to be flattered you think my opinion counts.

            My question is how does that distinguish Noriega from many other heads of state the US does business with on a regular basis?

            And a second question relates to the legal basis for war. Has anyone else in the past asserted that criminal activity by the head of state justifies war?

            For clarification, by criminal activity I mean activity that does not rise to crimes against humanity and is not an expression of national policy. For example I don’t think the US ever asserted that Panama as a nation was traffic ing drugs or skimming profits. As I understand it claims like that went to Noriega himself and not to Panama.

            1. bfm – Noriega is an interesting case. We caught him and tried him and convicted him. Then turned him over to France after awhile, who convicted him and then turned him over to Panama after awhile. Each had a different bite off the apple.

              The UN condemned the invasion but the Panamanians seem to have supported it. We were supporting an opponent of Noriega.

  6. Traveling Limey – you are right. “Poppy” not only eliminated his partner, Noriega, but thanks to the MSM, was able to convince most Americans that
    Noriega was an evil dictator — just like later with Saddam.

    Unfortunately, people like N.S. are as uninformed today as Joe and Mary Sixpack have been since 1963.

    1. bill – Noriega was a dictator and he was evil, so what is the problem with portraying him as an evil dictator?

  7. Would have prefered to see his former buddy-in-crime and later jailer, HW Bush, in jail. Far more dangerous.

  8. If Noriega wins, can prostitutes sue for Grand Theft Auto? Given that athletes have won against game programs I think he has a shot.

  9. Noriega’s crime was skimming. I’m not a legal expert but I would expect him to win. Then the gamers can expect lawsuits from some of the other criminals who are depicted.

  10. The game maker should have called the game by Noriega’s nickname, La Pina. His face looks like a pineapple. I doubt folks got pete’s obscure reference. Now they do.

  11. I feel closer to the plants than I do to Norry and other Cheney types:

    There was nothing extraordinary about the Japanese canopy plant — that is, until Pellicer analyzed the stained cells using flow cytometry, a high-throughput technique to detect features of cells suspended in liquid. To Pellicer’s eye, the balls of DNA inside P. japonica’s nuclei looked “really, really big,” he recalls. Soon, he confirmed that P. japonica carries the largest known eukaryotic genome on the planet, with a whopping 150 billion base pairs — 50 times the size of the human genome. “We were astonished,” says Pellicer. Plants in general are known to have sizable genomes, often as a result of whole-genome duplications, so “we were expecting to find big genomes, but nothing that big.”

    The Human Genome Project’s most startling finding was that human genes, as currently defined, make up less than 2 percent of all the DNA on the genome, and that the total number of genes is relatively small. Scientists had predicted there might be 80,000 to 140,000 human genes, but the current tally is fewer than 25,000 — as one scientific paper put it, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN that of A CHICKEN AND A GRAPE. The remaining 98 percent of our DNA, once dismissed as “junk DNA,” is now taken more seriously. Researchers have focused on introns, in the gaps between the coding segments of genes, which may play a crucial role in regulating gene expression, by switching them on and off in response to environmental stimuli.

    (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion – 34).

    1. “Researchers have focused on introns, in the gaps between the coding segments of genes, which may play a crucial role in regulating gene expression, by switching them on and off in response to environmental stimuli.”

      Where is Lysenko now that we really need him?

    2. Yes, but how can you know for sure whether that is one of the knowns you know or one of the knowns you only think you know?

  12. Maybe he was involved in drug smuggling.

    But some would argue he was taken down because he was uppity enough to wave a sword while saying mean and embarrassing things about the US.

    That ought to be a lesson for tyrants everywhere.

  13. just for the record i’m growing some pineapples in my front yard. i wasn’t planning on sending him royalties.

  14. Interesting case Darren. It is amusing that a character like Noriega would be upset that a game considered his actions as heinous. Wouldn’t truth be the defense for Activision?

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