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Sun Jun 21, 2015, 09:51 AM

Court Reinstates Case Against Former Attorney General, FBI Director and INS Commissioner

Michael Ratner says after 13 years this is a big victory, The Centre for Constitutional Rights will be able to proceed with the case against former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former FBI director Robert Mueller and former INS commissioner James Ziglar, for policies they issued that resulted in the abuse of immigration detainees post 9-11

- June 21, 2015
Transcript:

snip*MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Sharmini, thank you for having me on The Real News.

PERIES: So Michael, tell us more about the case. Why was it reinstated?

RATNER: Sharmini, it's unusual that I'm on the show with you or Real News, and we actually have really good news to announce. This is one of those occasions. It's a big victory. It's a Center for Constitutional Rights case called Turkmen v. Ashcroft. Ashcroft was of course the attorney general during the initial period of 9/11. The litigation concerned abuse of immigration detainees post-9/11. And what we have won is an interim victory. It's been a 13-year struggle to get it there. This case was filed in April 2002. You have to have a long life and a long litigation life to win these cases, but we're on our way.

When I say an interim victory, what it means is that the case will now be remanded to the district court for trial, or the Justice Department could appeal to the Supreme Court and try to overturn it. We don't yet know which one.

But here's what it said. The appeals court in the second circuit, which is the court right underneath the Supreme Court, said that high-level Bush officials, including Ashcroft who was attorney general, Mueller who was head of the FBI, and Ziglar who was the commissioner of immigration, could be sued for post-9/11 abuse of immigration detainees at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The abuse, and what we alleged at the Center was from the policy decisions to target and punitively detain Arab, South-Asian men, and Muslim men post-9/11, despite the fact they were innocent of any claims of terrorism. As the court said, there was no reason except race and religion to consider them dangerous. That's what we alleged, and of course that has to be found as true at this point. They were detained from three to eight months. So not only were those three high-level policy officials subject to suit, but the court also said the people, the warden at the prison and others who actually did the abuse to these prisoners could be subject to suit as well.

Let me just give you an example of the type of conduct--and I'll talk a bit more about it. But the eight plaintiffs in this case and many others, when they walked into, they were arrested and taken into the prison, they had their faces smashed into a wall where guards had pinned a t-shirt with a picture of an American flag and the words "these colors don't run". The men were slammed against the t-shirt on their entrance to the prison, and told, welcome to America. The t-shirt was smeared with blood, yet it stayed up on the walls of the prison for months.

It's important to understand the context of this case. Until now there's been little, really no accountability, for what happened post-9/11. This may be the first victory on accountability if we can hold it. And just recall, we've had torture, indefinite detention at Guantanamo, abuses, arrest without probable cause, and yet no accountability.

in full: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=14069

11 replies, 2300 views

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Reply Court Reinstates Case Against Former Attorney General, FBI Director and INS Commissioner (Original post)
Jefferson23 Jun 2015 OP
Demeter Jun 2015 #1
Jefferson23 Jun 2015 #2
SoapBox Jun 2015 #3
wordpix Jun 2015 #8
Fred Sanders Jun 2015 #4
Dustlawyer Jun 2015 #5
Jefferson23 Jun 2015 #10
Alkene Jun 2015 #6
bucolic_frolic Jun 2015 #7
wordpix Jun 2015 #9
Jefferson23 Jun 2015 #11

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 10:53 AM

1. Here's hoping!

 

It would be a turning point for our nation.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 10:58 AM

2. Wouldn't it though...I am with you hoping too. n/t

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 11:34 AM

3. I'll add my hope.

The Bush and Company War Criminals.

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 12:42 PM

8. +1 for hope and good laws enforced

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 11:43 AM

4. WAY too complicated and truthy for the mass media to cover with "War Criminals Lose Court Case".

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 12:05 PM

5. The lessons of History always seem to be ignored.

Did we learn anything from the internment of Japanese during WWII?
Being American means sometimes doing what is not popular, but right. It is too easy to lump all of a group as one certain way or another. It's convenient and easy to give in to the hate and fear of the moment. It is much harder to stick to our ideals expressed in the Constitution, but that is the test of our true desire to respect the freedoms given, even to immigrants that our beloved Statue of Liberty is testament to. Like our freedom of speech, which is easy when what is being said is popular, but much harder when it is not.
Our media conglomerates manipulate us away from these ideals and twist things to make what is wrong seem right. It is up to us to recognize the truth and individually live up to the ideals expressed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 12:54 PM

10. +1.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 12:11 PM

6. Its important for us not to feel too sanctimonious..."

"...in retrospect about the tough job those folks had.

Or something like that.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 12:31 PM

7. They never catch the Big Guys

only history learns the truth.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 12:44 PM

9. well there was Nixon

a long time ago, I know

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Response to wordpix (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 21, 2015, 01:21 PM

11. That's true, he was disgraced but there was no trial..they didn't want to put the country

through that, or their shit party through that? The Republicans helped get him out, Nixon
was a train wreck but didn't know it.

Top dog status country exempts itself from responsibility, too often.

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