Thursday, February 14, 2008

More torture cover-up

Once again, the maladministration is seeking to keep the lid on their maltreatment (if not outright torture) of detainees using the 'blanket' "state secrets privilege":
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday that accused a San Jose flight-planning company of helping the CIA transport prisoners to overseas dungeons for interrogation and torture, agreeing with the Bush administration that the case risks exposure of state secrets.

U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Jose said he had no authority to decide whether, as three current prisoners and two freed inmates alleged, Jeppesen International Trip Planning colluded with the CIA to violate their rights. The suit instead must be dismissed at the outset because its subject is a secret program that cannot be examined in a public proceeding, Ware said.

Public and confidential declarations filed by CIA Director Michael Hayden show that "proceeding with this case would jeopardize national security and foreign relations," Ware said.

Translated from Maladministration-Speak into English: "We're going to look pretty sorry, even more thuggish and brutal, and most of all incompetent, if any of this ever comes out...."

As I've posted previously, Khalid el-Masri and Maher Arar were both denied their day in court under the "state secrets privilege", whereby a maladministration can avoid the revelation of embarrassing stuff by saying the magic words "Tippy-top, Sooper-dooper State Secrets" three times in court (see here for the noted lib'rul and civil libertarian David Kay's take on this). And also, coincidentally, deny any judicial relief for injuries inflicted to the plaintiffs -- who are just SOL; a few souls sacrificed of necessity on the altar of "Nash'nul Secur'tah" and "whatever it takes, we'll do, hang the legalities" ....

The sad part is that these privileges are not being invoked just for cases where there was some vaguely plausible ex post facto "justification" for the illegal acts -- where we actually achieved some "greater good", nipping some great danger in the bud -- but rather for cases where the maladministration and the thugs in the CIA clearly f*cked up. Surely the national interset would be better served by finding out where we're going wrong, and trying to fix it (hopefully in some legal manner), rather than just covering stuff up.

But, as I've said before, even the "necessity"/"exigent circumstances" defence is bogus as a legal defence....


Update:

The Register (UK) has more here. Why don't U.S. papers cover these things like that?

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