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Recent Court News

Truthissweet
post Jun 23 2015, 12:38 PM
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Former AG Joins Lawsuit:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/former-us-att...in-iraq/5456759
QUOTE
A lawsuit against members of the Bush administration for their role in the invasion of Iraq recently received noteworthy support from an internationally prominent group of lawyers—including a former U.S. attorney general. The group is asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the class action suit on grounds that the U.S.-led war was an illegal act of aggression in violation of international guidelines as defined by the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II.

Iraqi mother Sundus Saleh filed the lawsuit on May 27 against former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, stating they “broke the law in conspiring and committing the crime of aggression against the people of Iraq.” Her complaint filed to the court reads:

Defendants planned the war against Iraq as early as 1998; manipulated the United States public to support the war by scaring them with images of ‘mushroom clouds’ and conflating the Hussein regime with al-Qaeda; and broke international law by commencing the invasion without proper legal authorization. More than sixty years ago, American prosecutors in Nuremberg, Germany convicted Nazi leaders of the crimes of conspiring and waging wars of aggression. They found the Nazis guilty of planning and waging wars that had no basis in law and which killed millions of innocents.[emphasis added]

It should be noted as well that the Nuremberg Tribunal’s findings were specifically quoted in the suit, which has been undertaken as a pro bonocase by Comar Law, based in San Francisco:

[These] are charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences […] affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”[emphasis added in the lawsuit]

Saleh’s previous attempt to sue the Bush administration in the California court system was met with resistance from the government—including Obama administration lawyers—and was ultimately dismissed using the terms of the Westfall Act, which grants immunity to federal employees who act “within the scope of their employment.”

But the amicus brief submitted on Saleh’s behalf by the group of attorneys—including former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the former president of the National Lawyers Guild, a founding board member of the International Commission for Labor Rights, and the co-chair of the International Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, among others—states that the previous court was “forbidden” to use Westfall protections to dismiss the charges because the Nuremberg Tribunal established “norms” that prohibit “the use of domestic laws as shields to allegations of aggression […] National leaders, even American leaders, do not have the authority to commit aggression and cannot be immune from allegations they have done so.” [emphasis added]

A second amicus brief was also filed by the nonprofit Planethood Foundation—a compelling action in itself, considering the organization was established in 1996 by the sole surviving Nuremberg chief prosecutor, Benjamin Ferencz. This brief cautions that “those in positions of power” should not be allowed to subvert their influence to escape responsibility for their crimes. This brief cites the U.N. statement given after Nuremberg proceedings that, “planning, initiating, or waging a war of aggression is a crime against humanity for which individuals as well as states shall be tried before the bar of international justice.” [emphasis added]

The significance of these briefs cannot be overstated amidst increasing international attention on the case. Calls to charge the Bush administration for war crimes have grown intense as recent reports estimate well over one million people have died as a result of the Iraq war.

Hopefully, there will be an appropriate answer from the federal appeals court for Saleh’s lawsuit; because, as Inder Comar told Truthout,

“This is a horror that continues to play itself out, daily, in Iraq; the architects of such chaos have yet to be meaningfully questioned as to their role in this unmitigated tragedy.”

Inder Comar is the Attorney of Sundus Saleh.


Lawsuit in above quote. 27 pages long PDF
http://witnessiraq.com/wp-content/uploads/...3/SalehBush.pdf

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Bush Admin Can Be Sued:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/in-historic-r...oundups/5456858
In Historic Ruling, Bush Officials Can Be Sued for Post-9/11 Roundups
QUOTE
Victims of post-9/11 racial profiling, illegal detention, and abuse in the U.S. may have the chance to sue high-level Bush administration officials, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft, a U.S. federal court ruled on Wednesday in what the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called an “exceedingly rare” decision.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday found that Ashcroft, former FBI director Robert Mueller, and former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Commissioner James Ziglar, who are all defendants in the case of Turkmen v. Ashcroft,“exceeded the bounds of the [U.S.] Constitution in the wake of 9/11″ by profiling, detaining, abusing, and deporting numerous Arab, Muslim, and South Asian men based on nothing more than their race or religion.

“[T]here is no legitimate governmental purpose in holding someone as if he were a terrorist simply because he happens to be, or appears to be, Arab or Muslim,” the three-judge panel wrote in its decision (pdf). “[W]e simply cannot conclude at this stage that concern for the safety of our nation justified the violation of the constitutional rights on which this nation was built.”

CCR, which brought the case in 2002, said the ruling was historic and served as a reminder that “the rule of law and the rights of human beings, whether citizens or not, must not be sacrificed in the face of national security hysteria.”

The eight plaintiffs, along with hundreds of other men who were arrested following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, were held as “suspected terrorists” and placed in solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for months on end, despite their only charges being civil immigration violations such as overstaying a visa or working without authorization. While in custody, the men were abused by guards, including through sleep deprivation, beatings, denial of religious rights, and by having “their faces smashed into a wall where guards had pinned a t-shirt with a picture of an American flag and the words, ‘These colors don’t run.’” They were then deported.

“Holding individuals in solitary confinement 23 hours a day with regular strip-searches because their perceived faith or race placed them in the group targeted for recruitment by Al Qaeda violated the detainees’ constitutional rights,” Judges Rosemary S. Pooler and Richard C. Wesley wrote in their decision.

Following the ruling, CCR senior staff attorney Rachel Meeropol said, “Punishing low-level perpetrators is necessary, but hardly sufficient to prevent future abuse. Orders came from officials at the highest levels of government. Now we have the chance to ensure that they are held accountable and not treated as if they are above the law.”

Pooler and Wesley concluded their 109-page decision with what CCR called an “unusual” section, named “Final Thoughts.” The section reads:

If there is one guiding principle to our nation it is the rule of law. It protects the unpopular view, it restrains fear‐based responses in times of trouble, and it sanctifies individual liberty regardless of wealth, faith, or color. The Constitution defines the limits of the Defendants’ authority; detaining individuals as if they were terrorists, in the most restrictive conditions of confinement available, simply because these individuals were, or appeared to be, Arab or Muslim exceeds those limits. It might well be that national security concerns motivated the Defendants to take action, but that is of little solace to those who felt the brunt of that decision. The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy.

One of the plaintiffs, Benamar Benatta, said he was “very delighted” by Wednesday’s ruling.

“It has been a long and stressful process that has taken a tremendous toll on my life, however, it is this kind of bold decision that restores my faith in the U.S. judicial system and gives me hope that justice will be served at the end,” Benatta continued. “It is time for those officials at the highest levels of government to stop hiding behind excuses and answer for their arbitrary and discriminatory decisions that affected, and in some cases ruined, innocent people’s lives.”

The Justice Department said it was reviewing the court’s decision. As CCR pointed out on Wednesday, it is rare for claims against high-level government officials to proceed.


More info on above quote:
http://ccrjustice.org/home/press-center/pr...ashcroft-may-be


I guess we just have to see how it plays out. Will all this fade from the spotlight or actually amount to something?
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Tamborine man
post Jun 23 2015, 10:34 PM
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"You shall not kill".

"As you sow so shall you reap".

"Do to others as you will others do to you .......".

Human beings are not only subjects to earthly laws, but far more importantly also
subjected to spiritual laws, which naturally will be infinitely more fair and just than
anything human lawmakers can come up with.
This is mentioned in relation to cases where lawbreakers for one reason or another
manage to escape human justice.

From the "Life after Death" thread:

".......
Thus, all warfare is rooted in Darkness and is brought about by the mutual intolerance of the various nations,
which in turn can be attributed to the lust for power of the leaders and the rulers. If the human will for evil
thus calls forth fighting and destruction and a war begins, the nation that initiates the hostilities must bear
the responsibility for the war of aggression as well as for the war of defence forced upon the other nation and
its allies, regardless of the forms that the war may take. And so long as the attacked nation limits itself to the
defence of its country, of its rights, the aggressor will continue to be in the wrong. But the moment the
defender extends the hostilities to the territory of the aggressor in order to attack rather than to defend, both
sides must share the responsibility for whatever takes place from the moment the border into enemy territory
is crossed. (The same laws apply if the battles are fought at sea or in the air).

The victory or defeat of the warring parties can in no way be attributed to God. Never does He take part in the
hostilities, neither on the side of the aggressor nor on the side of the defender. Only prayers for help to restore
peace will be heard by God, but His many and persistent attempts to speak to the leaders as their "conscience"
are in most cases rejected.
The victorious party defeats its adversary by virtue of numerical or strategic superiority or the like, or because
of the people's common hatred of the enemy and the people's common will to win; but victory is never gained
with the help of God.

Any person - civilian or military - who praises, defends and glorifies war in writing or in speech, instead of evoking
aversion to this deed of Darkness and enlightening his fellow human beings on the degradation and brutishness of
war, is himself placing a heavy burden of responsibility on his shoulders and must, having ended his earthly life,
render a detailed account to God of the motivations for his actions.
Even though human beings wage war among themselves, and even though God does not hear their prayers for
victory, He never loses sight of them, but seeks either directly or through the disincarnated Youngest to awaken
remorse among the leaders, just as He tries in many ways to instil in them an awareness of the injustice and the
abuse of power of which they are guilty, so as to bring about a pact of peace before one of the parties succumbs
to the superior force; but in the vast majority of cases also these attempts are rejected by human beings.
......."

Cheers
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Tamborine man
post Jun 23 2015, 11:43 PM
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Please permit me to quote just one more time from the "Life after Death" thread
regarding the 'concept' of True Justice:


".......
Therefore, while they are yet on Earth all should seek to repent of their errors, of their sinful and criminal
thoughts and acts, and in remorse ask forgiveness of God as well as of their fellow beings before their
earthly lives close. Much grief and suffering will thereby be prevented. The guidance of the conscience
should be heeded closely in all aspects of life, for the more the conscience is disregarded, the more difficult
it becomes to follow its advice, its admonitions and its warnings. By yielding to their own desires, their own
base inclinations,
human beings increase the number of their incarnations.

There is one provision under the Law of Retribution none can avoid except the youngest of human spirits,
not yet able to respond to their conscience. Applying to the spiritual ego of humans and the Youngest and
Eldest alike, this provision requires that all who commit acts of murder or in some other way cause loss of
life of fellow beings, must, in a subsequent incarnation, save from sudden death the same number of lives
taken. (See above post).

However, this provision can be applied in different ways. Those judged and penalized under earthly law have
nothing more for which to atone.
But since God's law requires that those who kill must in later incarnations
save lives, anyone already punished under earthly law will comply with this provision through an act of love,
giving them the protection of God so that they emerge unharmed from the perilous task. Not so for those who
have evaded earthly justice. They are protected neither by the guardian spirit nor by God during attempts to
save other lives. They never escape some form of harm, such as death, maiming, prolonged illness, burns, or
the like. In other words, they must atone for past crimes with their own lives or with bodily suffering. Thus
God's Law of Retribution can in certain cases require a life for a life; however, the earthly courts of law have
not a similar right.
(See speech of Christ, page 125: 3.)

Those who as earthly rulers, military commanders, or leaders of the people are indirectly responsible for the
loss of great numbers of lives during wars and uprisings or through death penalties, can expiate their guilt in
subsequent incarnations by saving a large number of people from impending catastrophe, for example through
action to avert man-made or natural disasters, as inventors making safe otherwise dangerous occupations, or
as scientists who find ways to prevent or control the diseases that are such a scourge to mankind in so many
ways. God Himself ensures through this provision the correct balance between the human lives lost and those
lives that in compensation are to be saved from premature or painful death.
The last two means of atonement apply only to the Youngest and partly to the Eldest, since human spirits clearly
possess not sufficient spiritual powers to act as inventors or scientists in life on Earth.
......."

(From page 44, and onwards, in the thread quoted from).

Cheers
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Truthissweet
post Jun 24 2015, 09:00 AM
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More on case from NY Times:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/us/im...0&referrer=
QUOTE
Immigrants’ Lawsuit Over Post-9/11 Detention Is Revived
by ADAM LIPTAK, nytimes.com
June 17
WASHINGTON — Saying that high-ranking Bush administration officials may have taken part in grave constitutional violations after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday revived a long-running lawsuit brought by immigrants, most of them Muslim, who said they were subjected to beatings, humiliating searches and other abuses in a Brooklyn detention center.

“The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy,” Judges Rosemary S. Pooler and Richard C. Wesley wrote in a joint opinion for a divided three-judge panel of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

“Holding individuals in solitary confinement 23 hours a day with regular strip-searches because their perceived faith or race placed them in the group targeted for recruitment by Al Qaeda violated the detainees’ constitutional rights,” the judges said.

The case, filed as a class action in 2002, was the first broad legal challenge to the policies and practices that swept hundreds of mostly Muslim men into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on immigration violations in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The defendants include John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, and Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs said the ruling sent a powerful message.

“Punishing low-level perpetrators is necessary but hardly sufficient to prevent future abuse,” said Rachel Meeropol, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights. “Orders came from officials at the highest levels of government. Now we have the chance to ensure that they are held accountable and not treated as if they are above the law.”

“We are reviewing the court’s decision,” said Nicole A. Navas, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department.

The roundups after Sept. 11 drew criticism from the inspector general of the Justice Department, who in 2003 issued reports saying that the government had made little or no effort to distinguish between genuine suspects and Muslim immigrants with minor visa violations. The reports also documented widespread abuse at the Brooklyn detention center.

The eight named plaintiffs in the case, Turkmen v. Ashcroft, said they had been humiliated, beaten, and denied sleep and edible food or religious materials. Their detentions lasted three to eight months.

In 2009, in a related case called Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the Supreme Court ruled that another detainee, Javaid Iqbal, could not sue Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Mueller because he had not supplied enough detail about what they were said to have done wrong. The decision on Wednesday said the plaintiffs had cleared that hurdle.

In dissent, Judge Reena Raggi said the majority had erred in allowing a lawsuit against “the nation’s two highest-ranking law enforcement officials” for “policies propounded to safeguard the nation in the immediate aftermath of the infamous Al Qaeda terrorist attacks.”

“It is difficult to imagine,” she wrote, “a public good more demanding of decisiveness or more tolerant of reasonable, even if mistaken, judgments than the protection of this nation and its people from further terrorist attacks.”

In their joint opinion, Judges Pooler and Wesley said that the evidence in the case could ultimately show that the defendants “are not personally responsible for detaining plaintiffs in these conditions.”

“But we simply cannot conclude at this stage,” they said, “that concern for the safety of our nation justified the violation of the constitutional rights on which this nation was built.”



2009 Iqbal vs. Ashcroft Case 42 pages PDF:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-1015.pdf


Turkmen vs. Ashcroft Case:
http://ccrjustice.org/home/what-we-do/our-...kmen-v-ashcroft


Center For Constitution Rights info:
http://ccrjustice.org/


FBI At It Again In Trial
http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-intellige...1-trial/5455594
QUOTE
U.S. Intelligence Agencies Mock America in 9/11 Trial
by Kevin Ryan, globalresearch.ca
June 13

Last year, it was discovered that the FBI had attempted to infiltrate the legal defense team of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. The defendant is charged, along with four others including Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), of conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks. As a result, the military trial was moved out for approximately one year to allow for an investigation into the FBI’s offense. Recently, Al-Jazeera reported that the trial has been moved out yet again because the Department of Justice team leading the investigation (of its own bureau) needs more time to complete its secret report. These delays highlight the absurdity of the case against these men and the contemptible abuse of justice that the military trial represents.

Apparently, it has been difficult for the Justice Department to explain why the FBI approached a member of defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh’s legal team to “create a relationship with him that he was forbidden from disclosing.” That explanation became more difficult when it was learned that another member of Bin al-Shibh’s defense team had been cooperating with the FBI since late 2013.

The FBI infiltration of the Bin Al-Shibh defense team is just the tip of this anti-justice iceberg, however. In February, it was revealed that a translator assigned to help defend the accused was a CIA operative. That’s one way to ensure that the official account of 9/11, created entirely through torture testimony and secret evidence provided by the CIA ad FBI, would not be contradicted by defendant testimony. More was needed, however, as previous disclosures showed that the CIA was controlling audio feeds from the courtroom, bugging the rooms where the accused met with their lawyers, and censoring the lawyers. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of confidential defense team emails were provided to the prosecutors.

The military trial of these men was never expected to bring justice. But the absurd actions taken by the CIA and FBI have made the whole thing seem ludicrous, mocking the U.S. justice system. Why would these measures be needed and tolerated if the defendants were actually involved in 9/11? The reasons include that:

The charges against the defendants were largely established based on torture testimony, the records of which were destroyed by the CIA. That was after the agency misled the 9/11 Commission about the existence of the records.
Bin al-Shibh and KSM were both originally identified by the first torture victim, Abu Zubaydah. However, the government now says that Zubaydah was never associated with al Qaeda at all and therefore he could not have known what the government previously said he knew. In other words, the arrest and torture of Bin al-Shibh and KSM were initiated by way of a fictional account attributed to Zubaydah.
9/11 Commission leader Lee Hamilton suddenly can’t recall anything about these torture victims or his use of their testimony (441 times) in the 9/11 Commission Report.

KSM’s behavior prior to 9/11 was reported to be very different from that of a Muslim. He enjoyed go-go dancers and drinking parties and was said to be dangerous to nothing but his own bank account. The playboy lifestyle of KSM was similar to that of alleged hijacker ringleader Mohamed Atta, who seemed to be protected by U.S. authorities and might have been an intelligence asset.

One reasonable explanation for why the CIA and FBI have gone to such great lengths to control this trial is that the agencies are trying to cover-up their own role in 9/11. Much has been learned that suggests the CIA and FBI were involved. For example:

CIA director George Tenet facilitated the 9/11 crimes.
U.S. intelligence agencies continue to lie about their “response” to 9/11.
Whatever the reason for the antics, the military trial of these men has become an absolute farce leading American society farther down a path of tyranny. It sets a precedent in which the CIA and FBI can be suspected of crimes against the nation and then charge others with those crimes using secret evidence. The accused can be held in seclusion for thirteen years until agents of the CIA and FBI insert themselves as defense team members, ensuring total control from start to end.

At the same time, the press never notices that such an obviously fake trial would not be needed if there were actually any legitimate evidence against the accused. All things considered, this trial is not only a travesty of justice, it makes a mockery of 9/11 and brings shame upon the American people.
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Truthissweet
post Jun 24 2015, 09:28 AM
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QUOTE
Any person - civilian or military - who praises, defends and glorifies war in writing or in speech, instead of evoking
aversion to this deed of Darkness and enlightening his fellow human beings on the degradation and brutishness of
war, is himself placing a heavy burden of responsibility on his shoulders and must, having ended his earthly life,
render a detailed account to God of the motivations for his actions.


I hope you are right Tambourine Man.

The neocons obviously do not think like you. As long as there is no fear of punishment in this life, they will continue marching on knowing a totally rigged court system will protect their hostile deeds.
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amazed!
post Jun 24 2015, 09:36 AM
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This is good news indeed!

Pardon my cynicism, but I'm afraid the judiciary is easily as corrupt as the other 2 branches of government. I will be surprised if this effort is successful.
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Truthissweet
post Jun 24 2015, 09:49 AM
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QUOTE (amazed! @ Jun 24 2015, 08:36 AM) *
This is good news indeed!

Pardon my cynicism, but I'm afraid the judiciary is easily as corrupt as the other 2 branches of government. I will be surprised if this effort is successful.


No reason to be cynical. You are exactly right. IMO, these cases will conclude in a ruling that will prohibit any other case going forward. Now you know why W. replaced all those federal judges regardless of party affiliation.
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Truthissweet
post Jun 25 2015, 08:10 AM
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Michael Ratner of CCR Interview On Ashcroft Case:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/court-reinsta...ssioner/5457343
QUOTE
Torture and Abuse of 9/11 Detainees: Court Reinstates Case Against Former Attorney General, FBI Director and INS Commissioner

SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Michael Ratner report on The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore.

On June 17, a U.S. appeals court reinstated a long-running lawsuit against several Justice Department officials for violating the Constitution with abuse of 9/11 detainees. The claim was brought forth by several people who said they were subject to solitary confinement and strip searches in a Brooklyn detention center. Justice Department officials have been accused of putting in place policies that facilitated the abuse, and of knowing that the detainees were not terrorism suspects.

This is the topic of our next discussion with Michael Ratner. Michael is the President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, and he’s also a board member of The Real News Network.

Michael, as always, thank you for joining us.

MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Sharmini, thank you for having me on The Real News.

PERIES: So Michael, tell us more about the case. Why was it reinstated?

RATNER: Sharmini, it’s unusual that I’m on the show with you or Real News, and we actually have really good news to announce. This is one of those occasions. It’s a big victory. It’s a Center for Constitutional Rights case called Turkmen v. Ashcroft. Ashcroft was of course the attorney general during the initial period of 9/11. The litigation concerned abuse of immigration detainees post-9/11. And what we have won is an interim victory. It’s been a 13-year struggle to get it there. This case was filed in April 2002. You have to have a long life and a long litigation life to win these cases, but we’re on our way.

When I say an interim victory, what it means is that the case will now be remanded to the district court for trial, or the Justice Department could appeal to the Supreme Court and try to overturn it. We don’t yet know which one.

But here’s what it said. The appeals court in the second circuit, which is the court right underneath the Supreme Court, said that high-level Bush officials, including Ashcroft who was attorney general, Mueller who was head of the FBI, and Ziglar who was the commissioner of immigration, could be sued for post-9/11 abuse of immigration detainees at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The abuse, and what we alleged at the Center was from the policy decisions to target and punitively detain Arab, South-Asian men, and Muslim men post-9/11, despite the fact they were innocent of any claims of terrorism. As the court said, there was no reason except race and religion to consider them dangerous. That’s what we alleged, and of course that has to be found as true at this point. They were detained from three to eight months. So not only were those three high-level policy officials subject to suit, but the court also said the people, the warden at the prison and others who actually did the abuse to these prisoners could be subject to suit as well.

Let me just give you an example of the type of conduct–and I’ll talk a bit more about it. But the eight plaintiffs in this case and many others, when they walked into, they were arrested and taken into the prison, they had their faces smashed into a wall where guards had pinned a t-shirt with a picture of an American flag and the words “these colors don’t run”. The men were slammed against the t-shirt on their entrance to the prison, and told, welcome to America. The t-shirt was smeared with blood, yet it stayed up on the walls of the prison for months.

It’s important to understand the context of this case. Until now there’s been little, really no accountability, for what happened post-9/11. This may be the first victory on accountability if we can hold it. And just recall, we’ve had torture, indefinite detention at Guantanamo, abuses, arrest without probable cause, and yet no accountability.

I want to step back and take us to the days immediately after 9/11. Center for Constitutional Rights is located in New York. I was actually down on the street at the time the planes went in to the buildings. The office was very close to the buildings, and of course everybody was traumatized by it. But soon at the Center we started getting calls from relatives of people, Muslims, that people could–and Arab people, that they could not find, they couldn’t find their relatives. And what they did is they were picked up and they were checkerboarded around to various prisons, and we could never really get a hold of them. Finally we did find some of them. CCR people and others paid visits to them. And of course, what they saw was appalling.



The CCR, unlike a lot of other organizations, decided at that point to take an important and major role in litigating both those 9/11 abuses of people picked up as well as Guantanamo. So we were out on those front lines immediately. We had an Arabic speaker at the office, and we began to represent people very quickly.

Subsequently, we learned that this policy was actually authorized at the highest level. Arab or Muslim men were arrested if they were out of immigration status. And the rule was not that they could be held until their status was adjusted or be deported because of that, but they couldn’t be released from prison until they were cleared by the FBI of being terrorists. So think about it. A complete reversal of what should be normal in this country. You’re picked up on probable cause and the government has to prove it. In this case you’re picked up and you’re innocent, but you somehow have to prove that you’re innocent rather than the government have to prove that there’s probable cause for terrorism. And there were some 762 people picked up in this way, and they remained in prison until they were cleared by the FBI [rather] than have any evidence against them, of which there was none.

While they were in prison, I described their entrance into prison, but their contacts with the outside world were restricted, the word was spread through the prison system that these people were terrorists. They were put in what’s called a special housing unit, which is solitary, but this was an AD-MAX special housing unit. Terrible conditions, 23 hours a day without going out. Strip searched every time they went out of their cell. Strip searched every time they’re out of their cell. They were given barely edible food. Their doors were kicked every 20 minutes so they couldn’t sleep. There was a bright light on in the cells 24 hours a day. No phone, no hygiene instruments, toothbrushes, toilet paper, et cetera. As I said, physical and verbal abuse. When they came out they were slammed into the walls, their arms were twisted. They were in leg restraints and the leg restraints were stepped on. As I said, referred to as terrorists. Sometimes they were referred to as camels or Arabic assholes, and much worse.

When we brought this lawsuit in April 2002, our office figured, this is a slam dunk. This is ridiculous. One, you can’t treat people like that, and secondly, how can you under the 4th Amendment hold people without any evidence of committing a crime? But of course it took this long to finally convince a court that that could be the case. And of course it was because it was in the context of 9/11.

I’m sorry, go ahead, Sharmini.

PERIES: So Michael, just some clarification here. So was the case dismissed initially, that it was now reinstated?

RATNER: Yes. The case was dismissed by the lower court, saying essentially there’s no right to sue high-level officials for these policies. Somehow they didn’t know what was happening in the prisons. Which of course, the evidence now that we put in was that there were constant reports up to those three people of what was happening in the prisons to people, and therefore they were responsible. And of course the people carrying out the abuse were responsible. But of course they, their claim, I believe was that somehow it was authorized by the higher level. They sort of tried to blame each other, the lower-level officials and the higher-level officials.

So it’s a really important reinstatement of a case. And you know, we lost a case like this earlier in this court, and that was the Arar case. People may not recall, but Arar was taken off a plane at Kennedy, a Canadian citizen, and sent to be tortured in Syria. We brought a case in the same appeals court and ultimately lost it 6-5, on the issue that it wasn’t necessarily clearly established law that it was illegal to send someone or render them to Syria for torture. A ridiculous decision. So in this case actually it has turned out better so far. It was a 2-1 decision. We’ll have to see what the government does, but it’s a really important victory.

And the court really, in language that I want to repeat, says if there’s one guiding principle to our nation it’s the rule of law. You know, that should only be my [aside] case in all of our cases that we brought. But in this case the judge who wrote it said that. It protects the unpopular view, it restrains fear-based responses in times of trouble, and it sanctifies individual liberty.

And it goes on, and the court goes on and it says, the Constitution defines the limit of the defendant’s authority, and the court in very strong language says, detaining individuals as if they were terrorists in the most restrictive conditions of confinement available because they were or appear to be Arab or Muslim exceeds the limit of the Constitution.

PERIES: And Michael, tell us about why it was reinstated at this time. What is it that you argued to have it reinstated? Just tell us about the process.

RATNER: Well, the argument for reinstatement was that it was clearly established law that you couldn’t pick up people without any necessity, without any charges, without any allegations. And that the context of 9/11 didn’t make any difference to that. And you certainly couldn’t treat people in prison like this, and the defendants knew they couldn’t treat people in prison like this. And the higher-ups knew how people were being treated.

PERIES: And why are you successful now, as opposed to then?

RATNER: I mean, I think one, we–I think obviously the times. This is 13 years later. And what looked okay to people back then, or at least looked–I wouldn’t say it ever looked okay to anybody. But they weren’t willing to touch it in the middle of the so-called war on terror in the United States. The courts just stayed away from it. Whereas now it’s 13 years later, and what they wanted to stay away from before looks like a terrible precedent for the future. Terrible. If you can pick up people, hold them as alleged terrorists and force them to prove they’re not terrorists, and beat the heck out of them in a prison, I mean, what kind of a country are we talking about.

So they’re slowly, ever so slowly, trying to turn what you would have to call the ship of torture and unconstitutional violations around a little bit. We’ll see if the Supreme Court we have currently allows that turning to happen. We’ll see if an [on-bank] decision, the decision that government could go to first and say everybody on the middle court hear this case, turn it around, we’ll see if that can hold up.

But you know, when you read through the allegations of the complaint, they’re so egregious that you could do this to a human being sitting in a Brooklyn prison that it’s hard for me to believe that this case isn’t ultimately going to go forward and there isn’t going to be some kind of a trial, if not a settlement, on behalf of these defendants.

So the next steps are really waiting to see, is the government going to appeal this case in some fashion? I want to say, the Center for Constitutional Rights did a great job on this case. The key attorney who argued the case, Rachel Meeropol from the Center, and the former legal director Bill Goodman who said right off the bat, they can’t do this. The 4th Amendment says you can’t just pick people up and toss them in prison. You know, and as we talked about last week, the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta which says the same thing. Executive detention is anathema in a country like ours, and that’s exactly what has happened here, executive detention.

PERIES: Michael, congratulations, and congratulations to the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of all of our viewer, and thank you also for joining us today.

RATNER: Thank you for having me on The Real News.

PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.



The golden tones of John Ashcroft after 911. It'll bring a tear to your eye.....

Soar Like An Eagle

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Tamborine man
post Jun 26 2015, 02:01 AM
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Please contrast that sorry fool (no feelings of shame - no sense of taste - no self-awareness)

......with this man, who "sings" a completely different tune:



Cheers
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23investigator
post Jun 26 2015, 05:56 AM
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QUOTE (Tamborine man @ Jun 26 2015, 03:31 PM) *
Please contrast that sorry fool (no feelings of shame - no sense of taste - no self-awareness)

......with this man, who "sings" a completely different tune:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tj0mxpKjv_s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Cheers



Dear 'Tamborine man'

This man does not waste a word.

Not like those he is speaking about: who really are as transparent as glass: for the very reasons the "man" 'high lites'.

When people wake up to them: let's hope soon: people will be looking for true leaders to save their skins from the systems and the monsters who at this point of time control them.

We who care: must never give up.

Robert S
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Truthissweet
post Jun 26 2015, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE (Tamborine man @ Jun 26 2015, 01:01 AM) *
Please contrast that sorry fool (no feelings of shame - no sense of taste - no self-awareness)

......with this man, who "sings" a completely different tune:

Cheers


Standing O for that posted video. If that guy tried doing that on US TV he would have been totally lambasted by whatever cheesy TV host was doing the interview. The media and the legal system have been in bed together in a threesome with the neocons for a long time.



This post has been edited by Truthissweet: Jun 26 2015, 09:25 AM
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Truthissweet
post Jun 26 2015, 10:00 AM
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Since Ken O'Keefe was mentioned, here is his take on 911. It clocks in at 1:46:53. I just started to watch it so I have no idea how it plays out but it really looks interesting.

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Truthissweet
post Jun 26 2015, 02:49 PM
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About the above O'Keefe video. He doesn't get into specifics about details of 911. It is more of an overview on the mindset on how 911 was accomplished.

One thing does stand out. Scroll to the 52:00 mark. Three of the five 'dancing Israelis' are being interviewed on Israeli TV. One of them says, 'we were there to DOCUMENT the event'. I had never seen that interview.

O'Keefe includes some commentary from the Corbett Report(I like his style) and a phone interview with Chris Bollyn. It is worth viewing and you may see and hear some things you have not seen before viewing the video.
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