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Fed Court Permits Landmark ACLU Rendition Case To Go Forward-Government Cannot Claim State Secrets

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 02:31 PM
Original message
Fed Court Permits Landmark ACLU Rendition Case To Go Forward-Government Cannot Claim State Secrets
Edited on Tue Apr-28-09 02:40 PM by kpete
Source: ACLU

Source: ACLU

Federal Court Permits Landmark ACLU Rendition Case To Go Forward (4/28/2009)

Government Cannot Claim State Secrets To Deny Torture Victims Day In Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK A federal appeals court today ruled that a landmark American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan Inc. for its role in the Bush administration's unlawful extraordinary rendition program can go forward. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 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 government had intervened, improperly asserting the "state secrets" privilege to have the case thrown out. Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 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.

"This historic decision marks the beginning, not the end, of this litigation," said Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. "Our clients, who are among the hundreds of victims of torture under the Bush administration, have waited for years just to get a foot in the courthouse door. Now, at long last, they will have their day in court. Today's ruling demolishes once and for all the legal fiction, advanced by the Bush administration and continued by the Obama administration, that facts known throughout the world could be deemed 'secrets' in a court of law."

In its ruling, the court wrote that "the Executive's national security prerogatives are not the only weighty constitutional values at stake," and quoted the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene v. Bush that security depends on the "freedom from arbitrary and unlawful restraint and the personal liberty that is secured by adhering to the separation of powers."

"The extraordinary rendition program is well known throughout the world," said Steven Watt, a staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. "The only place it hasn't been discussed is where it most cries out for examination in a U.S. court of law. Allowing this case to go forward is an important step toward reaffirming our commitment to domestic and international human rights law and restoring an America we can be proud of. Victims of extraordinary rendition deserve their day in court."

Read more: http://www.aclu.org/safefree/rendition/39489prs20090428 ...

Read more: http://www.aclu.org/safefree/rendition/39489prs20090428...



from emptywheel:
http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/04/28/9th-circui... /

Here is the operative paragraph of the decision:

On remand, the government must assert the privilege with respect to secret evidence (not classified information), and the district court must determine what evidence is privileged and whether any such evidence is indispensable either to plaintiffs prima facie case or to a valid defense otherwise available to Jeppesen. Only if privileged evidence is indispensable to either party should it dismiss the complaint.

PDF: http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/04/...
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. i can too easilty imagine addington
and others of his ilk strutting around the white house and the DOJ and just offhandedly saying, "state secrets - that'll make it go away." how many times did they throw that up and at what cost to justice?
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent!
:applause:
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snowdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. as emptywheel says--It is a win for the rule of law.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. REC.
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. Bang. nt
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. Good news
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. K&R
:applause:
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lsewpershad Donating Member (964 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
8. Great
America seems to be finally standing up for what we believe in.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thank you, 9th Court of Appeals. Is this the court where Bybee is?
If so, did he recuse himself?
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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
10. K & R
It seems to be a very slow process, but I have hope that we are beginning to see signs that there will be some accountability for these crimes.
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ThirdWorldJohn Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. These are examples of war crimes also. Just like the torture, ghost prisoners, kidnapping,
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SWr Donating Member (116 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. empty ruling
RA RA .. dont be too quick to celebrate this.

If information and documents are covered by the NS act doesnt matter what a judge rules or says BECAUSE HE CANT EVEN SEE THE INFORMATION.

Do you people really think that classified (or TS/SCI) information is distributed to ordinary judges? LOL

No one in here has apparently ever worked in the government or with classified data.

That information would still have to be declassified through the proper channels and I hate to say it to those

who cheer "the rule of law" but the rule of law can be completely (legally) disregarded when it comes to

highly classified information.
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surrealAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Thanks for the reality-check.
... and welcome to DU.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #12
20. The "state secrets" ruling in the first place was a joke.
Edited on Wed Apr-29-09 12:37 AM by chill_wind
The largest essence of that case has been out in the public domain for several years. That was a big part of the controversy. One of the lingering quotes from one of the lead trial lawyers from the last hearing was that the facts were so widely known that apparently the only place in they couldn't be discussed was inside a federal courtroom in front of a judge. It is a very good day for these victims and their families.

Here's a video ACLU links to on their challenge:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdLwTu-L4Wo

A lot more of America needs to watch this.
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santamargarita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
13. More donations to the ACLU
Good job!
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
14. Hurrah!
The ACLU is there to keep all administrations honest.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. Will Obama Have To End Extraordinary Rendition?
One can only hope that his efforts to keep this practice going are thwarted.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
16. We need to know the truth
And those criminals who authorized this torture brought to justice.

:kick:


Sonia
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Old Hank Donating Member (225 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
17. Greenwald just wrote a piece on the issue
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #17
22.  Welcome aboard DU.
:hi:
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick nt
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
21. ACLU youtube video on Jeppesen/CIA rendition (link)
Edited on Wed Apr-29-09 12:34 AM by chill_wind
for anyone who hasn't seen it previously:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdLwTu-L4Wo
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. K & R
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Bette Noir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
24. Good.
Thank the Founders for checks and balances, even when it's our guy in the White House.
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Torn_Scorned_Ignored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
25. Self Delete
Edited on Wed Apr-29-09 12:19 PM by Torn_Scorned_Ignored













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