--Tell Justice Department Not to Coverup Torture With "State Secrets" Claim
--Support New Legislation Just Introduced in Both Houses
On Monday, the new U.S. Justice Department urged a federal appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan for its role in the extraordinary rendition program. Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen was brought on behalf of five men who were kidnapped and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons or foreign intelligence agencies overseas where they were tortured. The Bush administration asserted the "state secrets" privilege, claiming the case would undermine national security. The Obama administration has now done the same, arguing that the president can block prosecutions at will because commissions can serve as a substitute.
Last Wednesday, Britain's High Court of Justice ruled evidence in the U.K. civil case of Binyam Mohamed, one of the plaintiffs in the Jeppesen case, must remain secret because of U.S. threats to cut off intelligence sharing. On Saturday, Britain's Telegraph reported that "Mohamed’s genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, 'is very far down the list of things they did'." On Sunday, Britain's Daily Mail reported that Mohamed "was identified as a terrorist after confessing he had visited a 'joke' website on how to build a nuclear weapon. ... [He] admitted to having read the 'instructions' after allegedly being beaten, hung up by his wrists for a week and having a gun held to his head in a Pakistani jail."
Please phone and email Attorney General Eric Holder right now to ask him not to cover-up torture and prevent prosecutions. Ask him instead to appoint a special prosecutor: 202-514-2001 [email protected]
In the House and Senate, Congress members Nadler, Petri, Conyers, Delahunt, and Lofgren, and Senators Leahy, Specter, Feingold, McCaskill, Whitehouse and Kennedy have just reintroduced the State Secrets Protection Act, requiring court review of any "state secrets" claims. Ask your Congress member and senators to sign on and to encourage the Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor: 202-224-3121.
Senator Russ Feingold has requested a classified briefing to explain the "state secrets" claim. Encourage him to pursue the matter and to encourage the Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor: Feingold, (202) 224-5323.