Friday, September 10, 2010

Barack Obama: Torturer-and-Assassin-in-Chief

By Jacob Hornberger, Sep 9, 2010

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling yesterday in the case of Binyam Mohamed vs. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. confirms two things: the U.S. government wields the omnipotent, unreviewable power to torture people and, two, that Barack Obama, despite his much ballyhooed pre-election campaign hype about “change,” is actually just serving George W. Bush’s third term in office.

The plaintiffs’ claims against Jeppesen arose out of the CIA’s infamous kidnapping and rendition program, in which the CIA kidnaps people and then transports them to brutal foreign regimes for the purpose of torture. According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, which the Court was required to accept as true for purposes of ruling on the defendant’s motion to dismiss, the victims were subjected to horrible medieval-like torture techniques, such as breaking of bones, cutting into sexual organs, and pouring of painful liquids into open wounds.

The U.S. government intervened in the case, claiming that the suit should be dismissed based on the “state-secrets doctrine,” a pernicious doctrine that is found nowhere in the Constitution but which, the Court held, trumps the due process provisions of the Bill of Rights.

The government claimed that to allow the suit to go forward would entail the disclosure of government secrets, which would supposedly threaten national security.

The government’s position, however, which the court unfortunately bought into, is sheer nonsense. The state-secrets doctrine does nothing more than protect government officials from having their wrongdoing disclosed to the American people. That’s its purpose. That’s its effect.

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