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Reply #1: ACLU And HRF Ask Circuit Court To Reconsider Rumsfeld Torture Case [View All]

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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 07:57 PM
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1. ACLU And HRF Ask Circuit Court To Reconsider Rumsfeld Torture Case
ACLU And HRF Ask Circuit Court To Reconsider Rumsfeld Torture Case
Precedent Used To Dismiss Case Wrongly Ignores Constitution, Groups Say

WASHINGTON, DC - April 25 - The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First (HRF) today filed an unusual motion in federal court in an effort to overturn the dismissal of a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The March 2005 lawsuit was filed on behalf of nine Iraqi and Afghan former civilian detainees who were tortured while in U.S. military custody and eventually released without being charged with a crime. The lawsuit charged that then-Secretary Rumsfeld was legally responsible for policies and practices leading to the torture and abuse of detainees.


"It is increasingly obvious that responsibility for widespread and systemic abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan lies at the top of the chain of command, but no one has been held accountable," said Lucas Guttentag, ACLU lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "The rule of law and the protections of the Constitution cannot stop at the waters edge when United States officials adopt policies that violate fundamental rights and core American values."

Todays motion asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to hear the case in the first instance as an en banc matter, meaning the entire court would hear the request rather than the standard procedure of assigning the case to a panel of three judges. The motion asks the court to sit en banc in order to reconsider its existing decisions that suggest that foreign nationals outside the United States can never bring a claim against government officials for violations of the Constitution.

In March 2007, Chief Judge Thomas A. Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the ACLUs lawsuit even though he described the case as lamentable and appalling and noted that the facts alleged in the complaint stand as indictment of the humanity with which the United States treats its detainees. Still, he concluded that under the governing precedent the case must be dismissed.

more:http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0425-09.htm
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