The Supreme Court recently refused to hear the case of Khaled al-Masri – the Lebanese-born German citizen who was kidnapped, deported, detained, and tortured by the CIA on the suspicion of being linked to al-Qaeda before eventually being released in a remote village of Albania – on the grounds that trying the case would risk the exposure of government secrets.
Read that one more time. Then read this great editorial about it in the NYT.
The Supreme Court, whose main function to judge the fairness of legislation and keep the Executive powers from operating outside the law, refuses to grant a man a fair trial because the case might expose the secrets of the PARTY WHO ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED THE CRIME, in this case, the US government. So whenever the US government commits a crime it can get off the hook without so much as a trial because the actions of this entity are to remain confidential? Remain confidential from whom? American citizens, for the whom the government was built to serve and protect, and answer to when it operates outside the scope of the law of the land? The law designed to protect state secrets in trials was not meant to serve as a basis to avoid even granting a trial. I get the feeling that if this guy were an American citizen, this story would be getting a whole lot more press. But since he was just some Arab German, the fact that his life was destroyed is apparently of much less consequence.
This is a perfect illustration of how the blanket defense of protecting state secrets and preserving “national security” has come to be unabashedly abused by the Bush administration. What secrets are at stake here? Secret prisons owned by the US in remote areas that operate outside the law? The physical and psychological torture of detainees? These ‘secrets’ are illegal not only in the realm of International law, which the US always seems to disregard when inconvenient, but also in the eyes of are own constitution. THEY SHOULD BE EXPOSED. That no Justices so much as rendered a dissenting opinion is disappointing and inexcusable.
THIS IS FUCKING CORRUPTION – BY AN ENTITY DESIGNED TO FIGHT IT.
As someone who once held the Supreme Court in high esteem for its ability and willingness to defend against the abuse of legislative and executive powers in the past, I am embarrassed and indignant by this travesty.