Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Meanwhile, in California

Unfettered executive power is apparently back in fashion:

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that former prisoners of the C.I.A. could not sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons because such a lawsuit might expose secret government information.

The sharply divided ruling was a major victory for the Obama administration’s efforts to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy powers. It strengthens the White House’s hand as it has pushed an array of assertive counterterrorism policies, while raising an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time in decades on the scope of the president’s power to restrict litigation that could reveal state secrets.

By a 6-to-5 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a Boeing subsidiary accused of arranging flights for the Central Intelligence Agency to transfer captives to other countries for imprisonment and interrogation. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the case on behalf of five former prisoners who say they were tortured in captivity — and that Jeppesen was complicit in that alleged abuse.

You could call this the "I vas just following orders" rationale. On balance, I support that the need to protect private entities that are doing work at the government's behest. But there's a problem involved, which Allahpundit at Hot Air mentions:

If, in the interests of national security, your rights are violated, there’s no legal recourse against any party involved if the facts implicate “secrets”? Transparency fee-vah!

So, let's ask the same question that Allahpundit asks: are you okay with this?


Anonymous said...

When was unfettered executive power was ever out of fashion? The Washington Administration is the last one I can think of.

But not to worry. There is nothing to be concerned about because the opinion by the Ninth makes it clear that the government must not use the privilege capriciously and that the executive branch is subject to judicial review of whether information is properly classified. Then the Ninth put some real teeth into their ruling by asserting that only the executive branch is capable of making such determinations. I think you call that a back flip.

Nothing to be concerned about. Nothing to see here. Carry on.


Mr. D said...

I think you call that a back flip.

Either that or a distinction that would elude Bertrand Russell.

So what's the word in Chicago now that Shanks is apparently leaving the stage?

Anonymous said...

The most interesting thing about the imminent departure of Babbling Boy is that there is no heir apparent. Something similar happened with his old man 40 years ago, and the shake out took two decades. Two very interesting and entertaining decades. It is going to be fun watching Alderman find their cajones again. Get your popcorn boys and girls. The show is about to begin.

Rich said...

"It's going to be fun watching Alderman find their cajones."

No doubt Rahm will invite them to the locker room to show them his. But, as has been often said about Chicago politics, "it ain't bean-bag."