Thursday, March 29, 2007


AP - Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld cannot be tried on
allegations of torture in overseas military prisons, a federal judge
said Tuesday in a case he described as "lamentable." U.S. District Judge
Thomas F. Hogan threw out a lawsuit brought on behalf of nine former
prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said Rumsfeld cannot be held
personally responsible for actions taken in connection with his
government job. The lawsuit contends the prisoners were beaten,
suspended upside down from the ceiling by chains, urinated on, shocked,
sexually humiliated, burned, locked inside boxes and subjected to mock
executions. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and Human
Rights First had argued that Rumsfeld and top military officials
disregarded warnings about the abuse and authorized the use of illegal
interrogation tactics that violated the constitutional and human rights
of prisoners. . . No matter how appealing it might seem to use the
courts to correct allegations of severe abuses of power, Hogan wrote,
government officials are immune from such lawsuits. Additionally,
foreigners held overseas are not normally afforded U.S. constitutional
rights. "Despite the horrifying torture allegations," Hogan said, he
could find no case law supporting the lawsuit, which he previously had
described as unprecedented.*http://


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