Obama Has Fully Embraced Bush Administration Torture

Obama Administration Seeks To Keep Torture Victims From Having Day In Court

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The Justice Department today argued that the victims of the “extraordinary rendition” program should not have their day in court, asking a federal appeals court to block a landmark case the court had earlier ruled could go forward. In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen DataPlan Inc., for its role in the Bush administration’s unlawful “extraordinary rendition” program could proceed, but today the government asked the appeals court’s full panel of judges to rehear that decision.

The Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions,” said Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. “The CIA’s rendition and torture program is not a ‘state secret;’ it’s an international scandal. If the Obama administration has its way, no torture victim will ever have his day in court, and future administrations will be free to pursue torture policies without any fear of liability.”

In April, the appeals court reversed a lower court dismissal of the lawsuit, brought on behalf of five men who were kidnapped, forcibly disappeared and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons or foreign intelligence agencies overseas where they were interrogated under torture. The Bush administration had intervened, improperly asserting the “state secrets” privilege to have the case thrown out. The appeals court ruled, as the ACLU has argued, that the government must invoke the “state secrets” privilege with respect to specific evidence, not to dismiss the entire suit.

“The extraordinary rendition program is well known throughout the world. The only place it hasn’t been discussed is where it most cries out for examination – in a U.S. court of law,” said Steven Watt, a staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. “Attempts to keep this case from moving forward fly in the face of Obama’s promise to reaffirm our commitment to domestic and international human rights law and restore an America we can be proud of. Victims of extraordinary rendition deserve their day in court.”

In recent years, the government has asserted the “state secrets” claim with increasing regularity in an attempt to throw out lawsuits and justify withholding information from the public not only about the rendition program, but also about illegal wiretapping, torture and other breaches of U.S. and international law. Full Story

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11 responses to “Obama Has Fully Embraced Bush Administration Torture

  1. I am a Infantry Marine and i really dont care if they get tortured. they kill thousands of us but we cant extract information from them? i want to see anyone whos says its wrong watch their friends die and tell me its not worth it. they would kill you in a second but your heart weeps for them?

  2. Well, I’m glad we’re at the point where we’re using our enemies actions to jusitfy our own.

    If they kill women and children then we can too right? They kill civilians so we can too right?

    If we’re torturing people just becuase others are then we’re no better than them. We are just as bad.

  3. Thanks for putting it into perspective John.

  4. hi
    where’s the photo from? of?

  5. hmmm, i don’t think so… the people in the photo are more south asian lookin’…

    would be interested in knowing where it originated because the man/boy being tortured looks ‘Tamil’ and so this could be Sri Lanka…

    • After receiving your question yesterday i looked through archives to try and see if i could trace back the origin of it, but was not able to. I will look further to try and figure out where i got the image, but i am nearly certain i found it when doing a search on the issues being discussed in the article. Thanks for your inquiry and let us know if you find out anything further.

  6. Can somebody please verify the source of this photograph? Those pathetic terrorist Tamil Tiger supporters are now circulating this and blaming it on the Sri Lankan government. This photo looks like one where Indonesian troops are interrogating an Aceh rebel.

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