In a brief filed Thursday evening, Obama Justice Department lawyers extended many of the same arguments made by Bush attorneys – that top government officials have qualified immunity from prosecution and that Guantanamo detainees do not have constitutional rights to due process.
The Department of Justice has asserted that a Supreme Court ruling reaffirming the rights of Guantanamo detainees to habeas corpus does not apply to plaintiffs in a case against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld because the plaintiffs were released from prison four years prior to the SCOTUS decision.
"It is fair to say that the current brief that is filed by the new administration supports a lot of the arguments that were made by the previous administration," said Kate Toomey, an attorney with Baach Robinson & Lewis who is representing the former detainees in an interview with RAW STORY. "They continue to assert that torture was in the scope of employment and could be reasonably expected. They continue to assert that these [top officials] be entitled to immunity. They also continue to argue that detainees at Guantanamo don't have constitutional rights."
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