U.S. courts invoke secrecy and immunity to avoid review of detainee abuse cases

February 13, 2012 | By | Reply More

Glenn Greenwald writes:

Virtually without exception, the American judiciary has refused to allow any victims of America’s War on Terror abuses — whether foreign national or American citizen — to even have their claims heard in court. Federal courts have repeatedly shielded government officials from any accountability for these abuses, not by ruling in their favor on the merits, but by ruling that they need not answer for their actions at all. Courts have accomplished this whitewashing by accepting the Bush and Obama DOJ’s arguments that government actions undertaken as part of the War on Terror are completely shielded from judicial review — i.e., from the rule of law — by both secrecy doctrines (it’s too secret to risk having a court examine) and immunity prerogatives (government officials cannot be sued even for egregious wrongdoing committed while in office).

Greenwald then lists five examples of U.S. Courts preventing meaningful inquiry based on “secrecy” and “immunity.” In comparison, he describes a recent ruling by the Pakistan’s highest court holding its ultra-secret ISI agency accountable for prisoner abuse. It appears that the “backwards” country of Pakistan offers more civil rights protection to victims of “the war on terror” than the United States.

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Category: Civil Rights, Law, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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