Obama Administration Backs the State Secrets Privilege in Rendition Case
I’m not at all surprised by this.
Barack Obama‘s justice department has repeated a Bush administration policy of citing “state secrets” to prevent the release of evidence concerning extraordinary renditions.
The decision, revealed at a hearing in a San Francisco appeals court, came days after the British high court ruled that evidence of renditions and torture must remain secret so as not to endanger the intelligence relationship between the two countries.
The appeal in San Francisco’s ninth US circuit court concerned the case of Binyam Mohamed, the subject of last week’s high court ruling, and four other men.
Civil rights lawyers had brought the appeal in the hope that the justice department would reverse the Bush-era policy. Last February the Bush administration intervened in a case brought against Jeppeson Dataplan, a subsidiary of Boeing, persuading Judge James Ware to dismiss the case on grounds of state secrets.
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Accusing Obama of turning his back on civil liberties, Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the parties in the case, said: “This is not change. This is definitely more of the same. Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obama’s justice department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue.”
So Obama is keeping Bush’s rendition policy, and he is going to use state-secrets privilege to defend it in court. Obama supporters among our readers (isn’t that, like, all of you?), does this surprise or dismay you?