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In case of human rights vs. national security, court sides with CIA




The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that former C.I.A. prisoners cannot sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons for fear that such a lawsuit might pose a national security risk.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that former C.I.A. prisoners cannot sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons for fear that such a lawsuit might pose a national security risk.
Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images

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“Reluctantly,” the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that former C.I.A. prisoners cannot sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons for fear that such a lawsuit might pose a national security risk. The court described the case as “a painful conflict between human rights and national security,” but ultimately ruled 6-to-5 in favor of the Obama administration to dismiss the case brought against Jeppesen Dataplan, a Boeing subsidiary accused of flying CIA prisoners from the U.S. to be imprisoned and interrogated in foreign countries. The ruling is a major victory for the government, reinforcing a sweeping view of presidential powers and also offering an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule on the matter for the first time in decades. It also widens the Obama administration’s departure from expectations of change touted in campaign rhetoric by advancing aggressive counterterrorism policies and siding with Bush-era policies. How sweeping is the law and does it make Americans safer at the expense of some civil liberties?

Guests:

Robert Chesney, professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin

Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU – he argued the case before the Ninth Circuit