Donald Rumsfeld on trial
This is an instance of the Bush Administration on trial for one infraction among alleged thousands of violations of law and international law pertaining to the conduct of the Iraq War. This case is about the US Military employing torture techniques against American citizen whistleblowers.
If Vance and Ertel win their suit, it could be a tipping point that brings more suits and justice.
The big fish have yet to fry and are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Plaintiffs: Donald Vance & Nathan Ertel
“Donald Vance is an American Navy veteran who was held in detention at Camp Cropper, the United States military's maximum-security detention site in Baghdad for ninety seven days beginning in April 2006. On December 18, 2006, Vance filed suit against the US government and the former US Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, on grounds that he was tortured and his rights of habeas corpus were violated.
“U.S. citizens who say they were tortured get their day in court
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
THE ALLEGATIONS are sadly familiar by now: The men were picked up by U.S. military forces, locked in tiny cells, deprived of sleep, and subjected to extreme temperatures and loud music.
What makes these allegations extraordinary is that the men in question, Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, are U.S. citizens who were working in 2006 for an Iraqi security firm, Shield Group Security. According to court documents, Mr. Vance warned Iraqi-based U.S. officials about possible corruption at the firm, including the funneling of weapons to insurgents. After getting the brushoff, Mr. Vance contacted Chicago agents with the FBI on his next visit home. Mr. Vance and Mr. Ertel began passing information to the FBI once they were back in Iraq. That ended when the firm became suspicious and took the men hostage; Mr. Vance and Mr. Ertel were able to call their FBI contacts, who then alerted the military, which sent soldiers to rescue the men.
After a night at the U.S. Embassy, Mr. Vance and Mr. Ertel were told they would be detained as security internees. Mr. Vance was held for three months and Mr. Ertel for six weeks, during which they were interrogated repeatedly about what they knew about Shield Group's operations. A detainee review board ultimately ordered them released.
The men filed suit in federal court against former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and a slew of unnamed U.S. officials for violating their constitutional rights; if they prevail, they could collect money damages from the defendants.
Government officials are typically immune from personal lawsuits for actions they take in their official capacity. But the Supreme Court ruled in the 1970s that the immunity can be pierced if the officials knowingly violate well-established constitutional rights. Such lawsuits typically involve wayward law enforcement officers working on domestic soil; this appears to be the first to allow such a suit against civil and military officials in the midst of conducting a war. An Illinois federal judge has allowed the suit to proceed. That decision is now on appeal.”
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States