ACLU AMICUS BRIEF – UNITED STATES V. HUSAYN, AKA ABU ZUBAYDAH
For the first time in 50 years, the Supreme Court is considering the scope of the state secrets privilege in U.S. v. Husayn, a case involving the CIA’s torture of Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, also known as Abu Zubaydah. The ACLU filed an amicus brief explaining that the privilege may not be used to suppress specific information sought in the lawsuit from James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, two of the architects of the CIA’s torture program. The brief describes our experience in eliciting public testimony from Mitchell and Jessen in Salim v. Mitchell, in which we represented survivors and victims of CIA torture who obtained accountability from Mitchell and Jessen. Also on the brief are counsel for Ammar al Baluchi, a defendant in the Guantánamo military commissions who the CIA also subjected to torture program; Mr. al Baluchi’s counsel describe their similar experience in obtaining public testimony from Mitchell and Jessen. The brief shows how courts can oversee testimony in CIA torture cases without jeopardizing any legitimately secret information.