Obama Supports Bush Policy on State Secrets

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Obama administration surprised federal appeals judges in San Francisco by arguing that a lawsuit by one current and four former detainees should be dismissed because it would reveal state secrets. The case involves Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed and four others who are suing Jeppesen flight planners, a subsidiary of Boeing, for helping the CIA transport them overseas to be interrogated and tortured. The practice of seizing and transporting terror suspects who have not been charged with a crime is known as “extraordinary rendition.” The Bush administration—and now the Obama administration—argued that if the case went to court, it would reveal information about the CIA’s relationship with Jeppesen, its use of illegal interrogation techniques and the cooperation of foreign governments. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) presented evidence that the rendition program was not secret, and that a Swedish court had already awarded damages to one of the plaintiffs, Ahmed Agiza, who is currently being held in Egypt. A 2007 report by the Council of Europe identified Jeppesen as the CIA’s “aviation services provider.”

Under Obama, Same Stance on Rendition Suit (by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle)
Obama Backs Off a Reversal on Secrets (by John Schwartz, New York Times)
Rendition Case in S.F. to Test Obama Policies (by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle)
Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. (Brennan Center for Justice)
Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc (American Civil Liberties Union)
The C.I.A.’s Travel Agent (by Jane Meyer, New Yorker)


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