Thursday, February 12, 2009

BushCo torture rules...continued?

This past Monday, attorneys representing Obama's Department of Justice took a page out of the Bush administration's playbook and adopted it as their own. DOJ lawyers stood up in a federal court and declared that, under the government's "state secrets" privilege, they intended to prevent victims of extraordinary rendition from seeking justice in U.S. courts. For the ACLU, which represents the five plaintiffs in the case, Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, this was the darkest and most disturbing of development in Obama's first term.

"Eric Holder's Justice Department stood up in court today and said that it would continue the Bush policy of invoking state secrets to hide the reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations committed by the American government," Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU said. "This is not change. This is definitely more of the same."

Human rights groups fought hard against the abuse of the state secrets doctrine during the Bush years when it came to covering up the government's unlawful activities, from warrantless wiretapping to torture. If Obama's Department of Justice truly intends to continue this shameful practice, it is up to us to raise our voices in protest.

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