NEW YORK – Claiming “state secrets” are at stake, the U.S. government today requested the dismissal of a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against Boeing Company subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. for its participation in the CIA’s unlawful “extraordinary rendition” program.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of five rendition victims who were kidnapped by the CIA and secretly transferred to U.S.-run secret overseas prisons or to the custody of foreign intelligence agencies where they were subjected to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In the lawsuit, the ACLU charges that Jeppesen knowingly provided direct logistical support for the flights that the CIA used for the clandestine rendition flights.
The following can be attributed to Steven Watt, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Human Rights Program and an attorney on the case:
“The whole world knows about the U.S. ‘extraordinary rendition’ program and the government’s invocation of ‘state secrets’ in this case is just another cynical attempt by the administration to cover up an illegal and immoral program."
“Historically, the ‘state secrets’ defense has been used to exclude discrete information in cases that may contain sensitive national security content. However, with increasingly regularity, the current administration has invoked the defense as a means of dismissing entire cases seeking accountability for illegal practices and policies it has implemented in the name of national security."
“Five men have been brutally abused under the ‘extraordinary rendition’ program with the help of a U.S. corporation. These victims deserve their day in court. And Jeppesen must be held accountable for the instrumental role the company played in their suffering.”