Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Torture suit too hot to be heard, U.S. says

Torture suit too hot to be heard, U.S. says

Bob Egelko

Chronicle Staff Writer


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


(12-15) 17:43 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A lawsuit accusing a Bay Area flight-planning company of aiding an alleged CIA program of kidnapping and torturing terror suspects threatens national security and is too sensitive to discuss fully in a public courtroom, an Obama administration attorney argued Tuesday.

"The case cannot proceed without getting into state secrets," Justice Department lawyer Douglas Letter told an 11-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Several judges noted that most of the essential facts of the case have been widely aired - the existence of the "extraordinary rendition" program under President George W. Bush, the five plaintiffs' accounts of their abduction and torture, and the alleged participation by Jeppesen Dataplan of San Jose - and asked why the case is too sensitive for the courts to hear.

Letter said he could reply only in a closed session. For the record, he said, "the U.S. government will not confirm or deny any relationship with Jeppesen."

Private session

The court met privately with Letter after the one-hour public hearing, a practice that the plaintiffs' lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, described as common in cases involving government claims of secrecy.

During the public session, Wizner accused the administration of trying to cover up wrongdoing.

"The CIA has engaged in kidnapping and torture and declared its crimes state secrets," he said. Dismissing the suit without deciding whether the plaintiffs' rights were violated, he said, would be "dangerous to democracy."

Extraordinary rendition is the practice of abducting suspected terrorists and taking them to foreign countries or CIA prisons for interrogation.

The Bush administration used rendition extensively but said it always insisted on a guarantee from the foreign country that it would not torture the prisoner. President Obama has issued orders closing secret CIA prisons and barring torture, but has also endorsed Bush's arguments for dismissal of the Jeppesen case and other suits by alleged victims of torture.

CIA's air provider

Jeppesen, a Boeing Co. subsidiary, was described in a 2007 Council of Europe report as the CIA's aviation services provider. In a court declaration in the current suit, a company employee quoted a director as telling staff members in 2006 that Jeppesen handled the CIA's "torture flights."

The five plaintiffs accuse Jeppesen of arranging their flights to foreign or CIA prisons, where they say they were interrogated brutally. Two of the men are still being held in Egypt and Morocco, and the others have been released without U.S. charges.

The Bush administration won a ruling by U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Jose dismissing the suit in February 2008. A three-judge appeals court panel reinstated the suit this past April, saying that neither the CIA nor its contractors were above the law. But the full court then granted the Obama administration's request to refer the case to an 11-judge panel.

Mixed reaction

The government's argument Tuesday - that allowing the case to proceed would risk disclosure of secrets about interrogation methods and CIA operations - drew a mixed reaction from the court.

Judge Michael Hawkins, author of the April decision, noted that the Obama administration plans to try the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks in open court and has spoken publicly about interrogation abuses.

But Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said the administration, not the courts, must decide crucial questions of secrecy.

"I understand you think it's not fair, but so what?" he told Wizner.

The plaintiffs could ask Congress to pass a special compensation bill for them without involving the courts, Kozinski said. Congress already allows victims of torture, including foreigners, to sue for damages, the ACLU lawyer replied. "It's not a waste of judicial resources to give torture victims their day in court," he said.

 The court gave no indication of when it would rule. The losing side could appeal to the Supreme Court.


Read more:

I'm sorry, but as an American this humiliates me and angers me. For my country to condone torture in my name is an absolute insult. Torture isn't a state secret, it's a the eyes of the WHOLE WORLD.
If that is the case then, the entire country should file a natinal class action law suit! This constant drone of crap from this admin. and the apologist whiners is torture. Another case of torture is when you accidentally switch to "The View" and you see Joy Behar.   What they are doing to Tiger is torture, The MTV music awards is torture, torture is in the eye of the beholder, ask Nick Berg....oh I forgot they cut his head off.

If you get in a fight you fight by the same rules or you are going to get your a$$ kicked, and you fight to WIN, not to be nice or be liked.
Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe