Five foreign men who sued a San Jose-based CIA contractor for its alleged role in abducting them abroad and spiriting them to secret interrogation sites have exhausted their legal avenues for getting the practice known as “extraordinary rendition” branded a human rights violation.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday to let stand a federal appeals court ruling that the president has the power to scuttle the men’s lawsuit because state secrets, such as how CIA operatives interrogate terror suspects, could be revealed if the case went to trial.
“The Supreme Court has refused once again to give justice to torture victims and to restore our nation’s reputation as a guardian of human rights and the rule of law,” said Ben Wizner, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued the case on behalf of the five men. “To date, every victim of the Bush administration’s torture regime has been denied his day in court.”
The Obama administration stood by Bush’s invocation of the state secrets doctrine in urging dismissal of the case, but a Justice Department spokesman said the policy is used only when absolutely necessary to protect national security.