State Secrets Privilege Trumps Accountability in Rendition Case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided not to take up the case of a man who was allegedly kidnapped and tortured by the CIA in a case of mistaken identity. The Bush Administration claimed that allowing the case to go to trial would risk revealing state secrets. This means there will be no justice in American courts for Khaled El-Masri, a German citized who U.S. officials admitted to the German Chancellor was seized by mistake and whose account was found to be substantially accurate in a June 2006 report by the Council of Europe.

Go here for more information on the extraordinary rendition program. And here’s HRF’s Washington director’s take on the case:

“When the government hides behind the state secrets doctrine to evade accountability for abuses, and the courts accept that justification despite clear evidence of wrongdoing, it undermines the whole idea of enforcement of human rights,” agreed Elisa Massimino, the Washington director of Human Rights First.

“Congress has let the CIA programme of rendition and secret detention go on long enough. It is time to bring this practice under control,” she added.


Published on October 10, 2007


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