Yesterday, appearing before a Court in San Francisco in a trial attempting to hold American corporations accountable for their role in the Bush Administration’s illegal kidnapping policy called “Extraordinary Rendition,” a Justice Department lawyer invoked the “State Secrets” defense used by the Bush Administration to protect those involved in rendition and torture.
This is wholly, absolutely and unconditionally unacceptable. Today’s Washington Post reports:The Obama administration invoked the same "state secrets" privilege as its predecessor in federal court in San Francisco yesterday in opposing the reinstatement of a lawsuit that alleges that a Boeing Co. unit flew people to countries where they were tortured as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program.
The Justice Department's stance on the case came despite a pledge by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., first at his confirmation hearing and again yesterday in a statement, to review all assertions of the state secrets privilege.
In an Opinion article today, the New York Times declared this “CONTINUITY OF THE WRONG KIND” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/opinion/11wed2.html?th&emc=th and urged the President to reconsider especially in light of his campaign pledges regarding this issue.
I won’t even try to twist my mind around what Obama and his cabinet might be thinking here. I am sure that they are privy to information that we will never see. And no matter what that information is, it does not excuse ANYONE from their part in illegal, immoral, unethical and inhumane kidnapping and torture activities. PERIOD.
I urge all reading this to ACT. The simple act of informing those in power that we are aware of what they are doing and will not tolerate it is often enough to make them change their minds. Pure and simple, Obama made comments on the campaign trail which made his supporters believe that he would DO THE RIGHT THING on this issue. And there is no wiggle room on this; kidnapping and torture are WRONG. So, there is no defense and President Obama must be called on it. Loudly, often and continually until he can no longer ignore the voice of the people.
Here is an ACLU action page where you can urge some senators to bring this ‘state secret’ issue into the limelight and change the way it is being abused by our government.
And here is a short (three minute) YouTube Video that outlines the particulars of the case in question.