State Secrets Privilege: Beware of Blunt Objects

Last month, the Obama Justice Department filed a brief asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for a full panel (or "en banc") hearing of the ACLU's extraordinary rendition case against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan. This filing was in response to the ACLU's victory in April, when a three-judge panel of the appeals court reversed (PDF) a district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit after the government intervened and improperly asserted the "state secrets" privilege.

Today, we filed a brief opposing a rehearing of the case. In the brief, we argue:

[T]he government’s [assertion of the state secrets privilege] amounts to a demand that “the Judiciary should effectively cordon off all secret government actions from judicial scrutiny, immunizing the CIA and its partners from the demands and limits of the law.” The panel rightly rejected this limitless demand for immunity.

…If these plaintiffs are denied a day in court, it is difficult to imagine which torture victims will not be…

We think it's about time that our plaintiffs, the victims of illegal kidnapping and torture, had their day in court. It's also about time for the Obama administration to live up to its promises of transparency, and use the state secrets privilege with greater precision and discretion.

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John

nice discussion

anon

We have a government hiding behind the "state secrets privilege", while certain agencies act with impunity. Fascism has come to America.

Vic Livingston

When will the ACLU realize that torture and extrajudicial targeting and punishment have been DOMESTICALLY institutionalized...

...an extrajudicial bypass that ACLU IGNORES in favor of campaigning against the torture of a few hundred detainees.

Torture, American-style is a DOMESTIC affair:

• A nationwide army of "community stalking" citizen vigilantes hiding behind federally-funded volunteer organizations -- using covertly implanted GPS tracking devices to stalk, harass, vandalize and terrorize unjustly "targeted" citizens and families;

• Deployment of classified "directed energy" microwave radiation weaponry to jurisdictions nationwide -- weapons that victims of "community gang stalking" claim are used to torture and physically degrade "undesirables";

• Multi-agency "programs of personal destruction" -- ranging from pervasive spying to a parallel system of transaction processing that victims maintain amounts to fascistic theft by deception.

These rogue programs must be taken down to preserve the rule of law in America.

Immediately. Before more damage is done.

The agencies of government that are commandeering this devolution of American democracy must be reined in and reformed, top to bottom, never again to subvert the rule of law.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-ter...

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

anon

Something's seriously wrong when good, patriotic, law-abiding, even "WASPy" Anericans are targeted for harassment by what can only be agencies of the state. And let me be clear, this "targeting" shouldn't happen to anyone.

what in the hell is going on?? Is it COINTELPRO? Some Machiavellian operation directed by the NSA (which hides it's activities until "outed" by a whistleblower, whom the NSA then systematically discredits by calling them crazy)?

This madness has got to stop and the ACLU needs to get with "the program" - no pun intended, and help bring this mess to the fore. Failing action on the part of the ACLU or a brave whistleblower, we're all screwed (some sooner than later, but all of us, ultimately).

ROCCO

I COME FROM AN ITALIAN IMIGRANT FAMILY, I AM TIRED OF THE ACLU NOT STICKING UP FOR ALL AMERICANS AND NON AMERICANS WHY IS THE ACLU SILIENT ON THE CAPTURED AMERICAN SOLDIER HE IS A YOUNG AMERICAN AND IN DIRE NEED OF HELP THE PEOPLE THAT ARE HOLDING HIM CUT PEOPLES HEADS OFF HE IS IN GRAVE DANGER DO OR SAY SOMETHING TO HELP HIM OR SHUT UP ON YOUR TORTURE ISSUES

ROCCO

WHAT DOES THE STATMENT MEAN YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION WHAT HAPPENED TO FREE SPEACH

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