Thursday, April 30, 2009

The State-Secrets Privilege, Tamed

"Of the many ways that the Bush administration sought to evade accountability for its violations of the law and the Constitution under the cover of battling terrorism, one of the most appalling was its attempt to use inflated claims of state secrecy to slam shut the doors of the nation’s courthouses.

Sadly, the Obama administration also embraced this tactic, even though President Obama criticized the cult of secrecy while running for office, leaving it to the courts to stand up for transparency and accountability.

And that is just what a panel of the federal appeals court in San Francisco did on Tuesday by firmly rejecting the claim that the government can prevent a judge from even hearing those who say they were hurt by federal polices and actions.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated a civil lawsuit brought against a government contractor by five victims of the extraordinary rendition program, under which foreigners were kidnapped and flown to other countries for interrogation and torture."

Editorial - The State-Secrets Privilege, Tamed -

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