John Yoo, the Bush attorney who authored memos authorizing torture is immune from civil lawsuit invited by his memos, based on a recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This ruling is unsurprising, in that it comports with a disturbing trend. Glenn Greenwald explains:
[C]onsider these two facts:
(1) not a single War on Terror victim — not one — has been permitted to sue for damages in an American court over what was done to them, even when everyone admits they were completely innocent, even when they were subjected to the most brutal torture, and even when the judiciary of other countries permitted their lawsuits to proceed; and,
(2) not a single government official — not one — has been held legally accountable, either criminally or even civilly, for any War on Terror crimes or abuses; perversely, the only government officials to pay any price were the ones who blew the whistle on those crimes.
That is how history will record the behavior of American federal judges in the face of the post-9/11 onslaught of anti-Muslim persecution and relentless erosions of core rights.
The trend is further supported by a recent report that out of almost 1800 FISA requests (most for eavesdropping) filed by the federal government in 2011, none of them were denied. This statistic begs for the following commentary by Greenwald:
This is a perfect expression of how the federal judiciary, in general, behaves in the face of claims of National Security from the Executive Branch: as an impotent, eager rubber-stamping servant.