"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Torture, and Other State Secrets 

Once again, the courts abrogate their duty as a co-equal branch of government:
A U.S. judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against former CIA Director George Tenet by a German of Lebanese origin who says he was abducted and tortured by the American spy agency.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis agreed with government arguments that moving forward with the case of Khaled el-Masri would risk national security by exposing state secrets about CIA activities vital to the U.S. war on terrorism.

"While dismissal of the complaint deprives el-Masri of an American judicial forum for vindicating his claims .... el-Masri's private interests must give way to the national interest in preserving state secrets," Ellis wrote in a 17-page ruling.

Apparently, Judge Ellis holds that torture of innocent civilians is "vital to the U.S. war on terrorism." That's good to know. It's also good to know that your right to be free from torture must give way to the national interest in keeping the details of said torture secret. If only the trains ran on time, then we'd be all set.




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