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"No Immunity" ::: FBI Informants Vance & Ertel Can Sue Donald Rumsfeld for Torture in Iraq in 2006

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vets74 Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 09:22 AM
Original message
"No Immunity" ::: FBI Informants Vance & Ertel Can Sue Donald Rumsfeld for Torture in Iraq in 2006
Edited on Tue Sep-20-11 09:48 AM by vets74
Source: Lawfare, 7th Circuit Court opinions,

This appeal raises fundamental questions about the relationship between the citizens of our country and their government. Plaintiffs Donald Vanc e and Nathan Ertel are American citizens and civilians. Their complaint alleges in detail that they were detained and illegally tortured by U.S. military personnel in Iraq in 2006. Plaintiffs were released from military custody without ever being charged with a crime. They then filed this suit for violations of their constitutional rights against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other unknown defendants under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiffs seek damages from Secretary Rumsfeld and others for their roles in creating and carrying out policies that caused plaintiffs alleged torture. Plaintiffs also bring a claim against the United States under the Administrative Procedure Act to recover personal property that was seized when they were detained.

Secretary Rumsfeld and the United States moved to dismiss the claims against them. The district court denied in part Secretary Rumsfelds motion to dismiss, allowing plaintiffs to proceed with Bivens claims for torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, which have been presented as Fifth Amendment substantive due process claims. Vance v. Rumsfeld, 694 F. Supp. 2d 957 (N.D. Ill. 2010). The district court also denied the governments m otion to dismiss the plaintiffs property claim. Vance v. Rumsfeld, 2009 WL 2252258 (N.D. Ill. 2009). Secretary Rumsfeld and the United States have appealed, and we consider their appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1291 and 28 U.S.C. 1292(b).

We agree with the district court that the plaintiffs may proceed with their Bivens claims against Secretary Rumsfeld. Taking the issues in ascending order of breadth, we agree first, applying the standards of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), that plaintiffs have alleged in sufficient detail facts supporting Secretary Rumsfelds personal responsibility for the alleged torture. Second, we agree with the district court that Secretary Rumsfeld is not entitled to qualified immunity on the pleadings. The law was clearly established in 2006 that the treatment plaintiffs have alleged was unconstitutional. No reasonable public official could have believed otherwise.

The Washington, D.C. Circuit has already approved one similar suit. Here, Vance and Ertel were arrested, handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to Camp Prosperity near Baghdad. After two days at Camp Prosperity, they were shipped to Camp Cropper where they were detained incommunicado, kept in solitary confinement and kept in cold cells covered in feces, often deprived of food and water, and denied medical care. This Court found that the allegations were enough for a Bivens remedy, which allows personal lawsuits against government officials who violate constitutional rights. Judge David Hamilton wrote While it may be unusual that such a high-level official would be personally responsible for the treatment of detainees, here we are addressing an unusual situation where issues concerning harsh interrogation techniques and detention policies were decided, at least as the plaintiffs have pled, at the highest levels of the federal government. One could see Judge Hamilton's use of "unusual" in this context as an example of comedic irony -- considering that Vice-President Cheney is out on the teevee talk shows touting exactly these abuses. Clearly, torture was all kinds of fun for the Bushco psychopaths inflicting it.

Read more:

These guys were tortured in an effort to cover up for kickbacks, bribery, a protected arms smuggling ring, transfers of American arms to insurgents, and a large-scale covert operation to arm Iraqi insurgents.

Shield Group Security ran a contractor operation using American citizens for its employees. When Plaintiffs Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel discovered that this company was transferring weapons to Iraqi civilians, they contacted the F.B.I. They began serving national interests in this manner by reporting arms movements and personnel involvement.

Apparently, the F.B.I. shared the information with the Department of Defense.

Shield took Vance and Ertel's credentials. Based on the filings, Vance and Ertel called their government contacts. They should interpret Shield Group Security's actions as taking them hostage, and should barricade themselves with weapons in a room of the compound. They were assured that U.S. Forces would come to rescue them.

So much for trusting DoD. So much for expecting anything but a brutal try-this-try-that madness coming out of Washington.

The perfect BushCo moment came on February 11th, 2006, when Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington. "Shoot without aiming" was kinda the operational motto for BushCo.

Rumsfeld had set up this wack-a-doodle scheme to arm Iraqi civilians -- firing up the nascent Iraq civil war -- and then had the two F.B.I. informants tortured to try to perpetrate a cover up.

L. Paul Bremer issued Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2, in May 2003, dissolving the Iraqi army and every other department of the Iraq national government. Some would call that an artificially inflicted state of anarchy. Civil war ensued. Otherwise there would have been no reason for a civil war. When they finally got rid of Bremer, Rumsfeld got control and things got worse.

Torturing Americans did not begin the torture regime. This system was a routine part of the occupation under DoD chain of command and fully-ordered personnel in Iraq. Camp Cropper was Regular Army. Not contractors. Not "a few rotten apples." What happened to these two Americans at Camp Cropper was a scaled back, less lethal version of what had been going on at Abu Ghraib.

-- Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in 2004: The American public needs to understand, were talking about rape and murder ...Were not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. Were talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.

-- Seymour Hersh: "Boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has."

-- Maj. General Antonio M. Taguba (US-Ret.): "After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

And here is Robert Jackson, speaking for mankind and for the victims of Adolf Hitler:

Let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law, if it is to serve a useful purpose, must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment. We are able to do away with domestic tyranny and violence and aggression by those in power against the rights of their own people only when we make all men answerable to the law"

Opening Statement of Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson, Nuremberg Proceedings, 21 November 1945, quoted in 2006 Complaint to German Prosecutor has several forums that reflect service personnel responses to what Rumsfeld did and to where the threats lie to honest military service. Obama seems afraid to prosecute. He has children. But that's rather better than torturing Americans willy-nilly.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R. Thanks for posting this story... I had not read about this one before...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 09:30 AM
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2. Excellent. Nt
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. That is excellent news!!! Doing what Obama's DOJ won't do....
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R!
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DirkGently Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. Let this be the first step in a journey of a thousand miles . . .
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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. kick
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. K&R
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 12:12 PM
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8. k & friggin r! nt
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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. K&R
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drokhole Donating Member (759 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. k&r
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 05:57 AM
Response to Original message
11. Good news!
A little something to brighten your day.
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