ACLU & Human Rights First to File Torture Allegations Against ‘High Ranking US Official’

Two human rights groups plan to file a lawsuit charging a high-ranking U.S. official with violation of the U.S. Constitution and international laws prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

According to their press release,

At a 10:30 a.m. news conference [in Washington later today], the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First (formerly Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), joined by former military and government officials, will announce a lawsuit against a high-ranking U.S. government official on behalf of eight men who were tortured and abused by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The lawsuit will charge that officials at the highest level bear ultimate responsibility for the physical and psychological injuries these men suffered. The men represented in the lawsuit were incarcerated in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they were subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading treatment, including severe and repeated beatings, cutting with knives, sexual humiliation and assault, mock executions, death threats, and restraint in contorted and excruciating positions. None of the men were ever charged with a crime.

Who is the official? I have no idea, although Rumsfeld would be my first guess, followed by Gonzales, followed by whoever Rumsfeld put in charge of the information extraction program (would that be Feith?)

The case could have everything – fights over discovery of classified information, claims of multifarious sorts of immunity, and (from the sound of it) maybe even debates over the scope of the alien tort statute. Oh, and the smell of justice. Don't forget the smell of justice. Even if the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow.

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