Supreme Court Rejects Torture Case Bid
5/16/2011 1:57:00 PM,
(CN) - The high court has rejected a bid by five former U.S. captives to revive their lawsuit accusing a Bay Area flight-planning company of arranging for the CIA to send them to countries where they were tortured.
The men said in their suit that Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a Boeing Co. subsidiary, provided critical flight planning and logistical support to the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" interrogation program.
They were seeking unspecified monetary damages from the company.
A divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered the suit dismissed in September, agreeing with the Obama administration that the case could threaten national security. The Bush administration had earlier made a similar claim.
In its 6-5 ruling the 9th Circuit said there was simply no feasible way to try the case without the risk of divulging state secrets.
But the American Civil Liberties Union petitioned the high court for review arguing that the government had misused the "state secrets" privilege to deny justice to torture victims.
Instead, the Supreme Court today let that ruling stand without comment.
"With today's decision, the Supreme Court has refused once again to give justice to torture victims and to restore our nation's reputation as a guardian of human rights and the rule of law," said Ben Wizner, litigation director of the ACLU National Security Project, in a written statement.
Wizner had argued the case before the appeals court.
"To date, every victim of the Bush administration's torture regime has been denied his day in court. But while the torture architects and their enablers have escaped the judgment of the courts, they will not escape the judgment of history," he said.