By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer
By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer
Five foreign men have filed a lawsuit towards the Boeing Co. for their assisted role in kidnapping, yet the ruling in the court states that they may not sue under the pretense of national security secrets being leaked. The threat of secrecies being leaked does not fully justify disqualifying someone’s liberties.
The group of men claim that they had been snatched off the streets, or while on business trips in other countries for interrogation. They describe having been blindfolded, shackled, stripped, and transported to C.I.A. “black sites.” They told stories of having been beaten, starved, and subjected to electrical shock to the genitals while there. As if that wasn’t enough, they were also held in darkness and isolated for months at a time.
However, though they all told the same story, the case still received a 6-5 against ruling from the U.S. ninth circuit court of appeals. The ruling concluded that national security was more important to even the most compelling necessity to protect liberty and justice. “This case requires us to address the difficult balance the state secrets doctrine strikes between fundamental principles of our liberty, including justice, transparency, accountability, and national security,” began the opinion written by Judge Raymond C. Fisher.
Even still, the court stated that going forward with the case couldn’t happen because unclassified evidence had facts that were a part of a “mosaic,” and the court cannot order the government to “disentangle” innocuous information from what is secret. Pertaining to the issue, the majority state that “Taking a case to law in this situation would be a greater risk of revealing state secrets.”
Every country has huge security secrets, which range from thousands of various subjects. Most of which being national security issues, homeland security, gathering Intel about who wishes to harm the country, to actually interrogating those individuals. Of course there are many more national security issues, but the point is that to take someone from their country for no reason, torture and beat them, and in the end tell them, “No you can’t use one of your only remaining options,” under the basis of national security, is wrong. However, not receiving a fair trial seems to have become the “norm.” Ben Wizer, who represented the five men, stated that “Not a single victim of the Bush Administration’s torture program has had a day in court.”
This case may not be subjected to Americans, seeing as the five men were foreign. However, it should still make one think about how far the former Bush Administration’s state secrets doctrine can reach. If it happened to them, how often can the state secrecy doctrine be used to dismiss a case?
Eventually, if not addressed now by the public, the state secrecy doctrine can be used to dismiss any lawsuit against the government under the pretense of national security. Citizens may try to sue the government for which would be considered illegal acts, yet be denied because of the threat of secrets being released.
Of course countries have an obligation to keep secret missions private, however countries also have an obligation to be just to their citizens. Furthermore, as we all live on one planet, countries have an obligation to be just to foreigners.
September 11, 2001 is a date that will always be in American history, our hearts, and our minds. However, as unjust as the event was, it does not mean our government can live in a state of fear. Since that date, foreigners have been scrutinized with very little attention being shown towards issues that regard them.
This group of foreigners had been essentially kidnapped and tortured for months. For these terrible crimes committed against them, they demand that the Boeing Company, who helped assist their removal, pay for their suffering. Unfortunately, they were denied so that national secrets can be protected.
Aside from five men having been told no, your suffering is not a big issue, the most important thing to pick up from this story is the states secret doctrine itself. Since when, in the land of the free and the brave, are people allowed to be tortured, and then receive no favorable action?
September 23,2010 | 9
Source: Central Intelligence Agency