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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Iraq | International | U.S. | Anti-War | Police State and Prisons
Rumsfeld torture suit goes to Supreme Court (updated)
All the main players in this drama are from Chicago, where the local press has ignored it as completely as the national press. This is the only lawsuit that continues to remain viable against Rumsfeld, and we must INSIST THAT IT BE HEARD BY THE SUPREME COURT.
(03-12-13) At stake is whether the US government can torture it's own citizens with impunity. When this case was dismissed on Nov. 7, 2012, the Appeals Court finding actually expanded the immunty of US officials. The Chicago firm of Loevy and Loevy, and their clients Vance and Ertel have requested a hearing by the Supreme Court, and we await the decision on certiorari. (updated 03-19)
The suit was originally filed on December 18, 2006 by Chicagoan Donald Vance, after he returned home from months of illegal detention and torture by US forces in Baghdad. Nathan Ertel, who shared the ordeal with Vance later came on as a co-plaintiff. Their ordeal was the direct result of reporting corruption witnessed while working for a defense contractor in Iraq as described in their amended complaint.
Rumsfeld resigned as Secretary of Defense on the day this lawsuit was filed, ostensibly for other reasons. The timing of the buzz ahead of his resignation coincides with the period between the safe return of the plaintiffs to the US, and the filing of the suit. Rumsfeld's removal from office reduced the chances for public scrutiny. Many items raised in the suit have been put on hold while the government continues to battle for secrecy.
After a long journey through the courts in Illinois, the case was eventually dismissed in the 7th Circuit of Appeals on grounds of national security. On Feb 5, Mike Kanovitz (Counsel of Record), along with other heavy hitters from the Loevy team filed their request to have the case heard by the Supreme Court. The petition for certiorari was made available by John Young at his site, http://cryptome.org/ last week.
The pdf, also available here, by clicking the photo, is text (rather than a photocopy) and summarizes the saga of 2 whistleblowers in their struggle against Rumsfeld, the DoD and the DOJ. An unprecedented legal battle against tremendous odds. ### more details to come ###