Judge Gives Go-Ahead for Another Torture Lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld

Friday, August 05, 2011
Donald Rumsfeld
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will have to defend himself in court following a federal judge’s decision to green-light a lawsuit from an Army veteran who claims he was imprisoned and tortured by the U.S. military in Iraq.
The veteran, whose identity is being withheld by the court, says he worked for an American contracting company as a translator for the U.S Marines in the dangerous Anbar province. He was scheduled to return home on leave, but instead was arrested by the military and imprisoned for nine months at Camp Cropper, where the U.S. confined “high-value” detainees.
According to his lawsuit, he was repeatedly abused before being released without explanation in August 2006.
He filed his lawsuit in 2008 and named Rumsfeld as a defendant, arguing that the defense secretary personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis.
The government has said the veteran was suspected of helping give classified information to insurgents and allowing anti-coalition forces to enter Iraq. But he was never charged with a crime.
The Department of Justice under President Barack Obama has represented Rumsfeld. Federal attorneys say the former Bush administration official cannot be sued personally for official conduct, and they claim a judge cannot review wartime decisions that are the constitutional responsibility of Congress and the president.
But District Judge James Gwin rejected those arguments and others, pointing out that American citizens are protected by the Constitution at home or abroad during wartime.
Last year, a different federal judge, Wayne Andersen, approved a lawsuit against Rumsfeld on similar charges dealing with the torture of U.S. security contractors Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Judge Allows American to Sue Rumsfeld over Torture (by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press)
John Doe v. Donald Rumsfeld (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia) (pdf)
Judge Allows Torture Lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld to Proceed (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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