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Civil Liberties

Tortured Reasoning…Again.

“Eric Holder’s Justice Department stood up in court today and said that it would continue the Bush policy of invoking state secrets to hide the reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations committed by the American government. This is not change. This is definitely more of the same.” Meet the new boss, same as the old boss? The Obama administration and Holder Justice Dept. uphold Dubya’s dubious use of a “state secrets” privilege to put the kibosh on a lawsuit put forward by five men “extraordinarily rendered” by the CIA.

See also a livid Glenn Greenwald for the details: “The entire claim of ‘state secrets’ in this case is based on two sworn Declarations from CIA Director Michael Hayden — one public and one filed secretly with the court. In them, Hayden argues that courts cannot adjudicate this case because to do so would be to disclose and thus degrade key CIA programs of rendition and interrogation — the very policies which Obama, in his first week in office, ordered shall no longer exist. How, then, could continuation of this case possibly jeopardize national security when the rendition and interrogation practices which gave rise to these lawsuits are the very ones that the U.S. Government, under the new administration, claims to have banned?

Update: Sensing the likely blowback, one presumes, the Justice Dept. announces it’ll be reviewing Dubya’s “state secrets” claims in due course. “It’s vital that we protect information that if released could jeopardize national security, but the Justice Department will ensure the privilege is not invoked to hide from the American people information about their government’s actions that they have a right to know.” So apparently, the ugly details of our now-defunct(?) extraordinary rendition policy aren’t among the actions we should have any clue about. Ugh…this one definitely goes in the Carcetti file.

Omsbudsdog Emeritus

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