Government Improperly Invokes "State Secrets" Claim in Attempt to Throw Out CIA Rendition Case Against Boeing Subsidiary

October 19, 2007 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – Claiming “state secrets” are at stake, theU.S. government today requested the dismissal of a federal lawsuit filed bythe American Civil Liberties Union against Boeing Company subsidiary JeppesenDataplan, Inc. for its participation in the CIA’s unlawful“extraordinary rendition” program.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of five rendition victims who werekidnapped by the CIA and secretly transferred to U.S.-run secret overseasprisons or to the custody of foreign intelligence agencies where they weresubjected to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degradingtreatment. In the lawsuit, the ACLU charges that Jeppesen knowingly provideddirect logistical support for the flights that the CIA used for theclandestine rendition flights.

The following can be attributed to Steven Watt, staff attorney with theACLU’s Human Rights Program and an attorney on the case:

“The whole world knows about the U.S. ‘extraordinary rendition’ program and the government’s invocation of‘state secrets’ in this case is just another cynical attempt by the administration to cover up an illegal and immoral program.

“Historically, the ‘state secrets’ defense has been used to exclude discrete information in cases that may contain sensitive national security content. However, with increasingly regularity, the current administration has invoked the defense as a means of dismissing entire cases seeking accountability for illegal practices and policies it has implemented in the name of national security.

“Five men have been brutally abused under the ‘extraordinary rendition’ program with the help of a U.S. corporation. These victims deserve their day in court. And Jeppesen must be held accountable for the instrumental role the company played in their suffering.”

More information on the ACLU’s lawsuit against Jeppesen as well as its other work in the fight against rendition can be found online at:

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