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Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Another U.S. torture victim in the news

The U.S. "justice" system shows its true colors again, as the U.S. Supreme Court denies rendition and torture victim Khaled el-Masri the right to sue the U.S. government because his trial would reveal "state secrets." You know, like the fact that the U.S. government kidnaps people, sends them to third countries, and has them tortured. A secret to Fred Thompson, maybe. Not to the rest of us.

Some will immediately jump to the conclusion that this is yet another Bush Administration innovation. Read to the very end of the article and you'll discover differently:

The state secrets privilege arose from a 1953 Supreme Court ruling that allowed the executive branch to keep secret, even from the court, details about a military plane's fatal crash.

Three widows sued to get the accident report after their husbands died aboard a B-29 bomber, but the Air Force refused to release it claiming that the plane was on a secret mission to test new equipment. The high court accepted the argument, but when the report was released decades later there was nothing in it about a secret mission or equipment.
It is true, however, that as with so many things, the Bush Administration has taken a quantitative leap in these matters:
U.S. presidents used the state secrets privilege six times from 1953 to 1976, according to OpenTheGovernment.org. Since 2001, it has been used 39 times.

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