Jun 22, 2017

Invoking ‘State Secrets’: Still the Status Quo?

Published Feb 24, 2011, 9:50pm
Invoking ‘State Secrets’: Still the Status Quo?

News brought to you by:
InfoKwik Web Design, Marketing & Hosting Kansas City


Invoking 'State Secrets': Still Status Quo?




by Marian Wang ProPublica, Feb. 24, 2011, 12:09 p.m.February 23, 2011

Earlier this week, we flagged [1] an interesting piece in the New York Times about the U.S. government invoking the state secrets privilege to block evidence in lawsuits against a contractor who had duped the U.S. government into spending millions on what many now consider to be fake counterterrorism technology [2].

According to another recent report, the U.S. invoked state secrets to block a personal injury lawsuit [3] by a CIA employee who alleged that environmental contamination in his home made his family sick. That got us wondering about what else the U.S. has invoked state secrets for—particularly under the Obama administration, which had pledged to end abuses of the privilege [4].

"Numbers aside, there is a great deal of continuity between the Bush and Obama administrations,” Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert with the Federation of American Scientists, told us. “And there is no case where the Obama administration has rescinded a claim of state secrets privilege that was advanced by the Bush [administration]."

Here’s a quick review of some of them:

To block a lawsuit seeking to prevent the U.S. government from killing Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen accused of having ties to al-Qaeda. The Times noted that while the U.S. government did not confirm [5] that Awlaki was on its “targeted killings” list, it invoked the state secrets privilege, arguing that [6] the case “cannot be litigated without risking or requiring the disclosure of classified and privileged intelligence information that must not be disclosed.”

To block evidence in lawsuits against government contractors involved in the government’s extraordinary rendition program. Months after President Obama took office, his Justice Department surprised federal judges [7] by invoking the state secrets privilege again in a case filed by five detainees who said they were abducted and flown to other countries—where they allege they were tortured—on flights arranged by a Boeing subsidiary.

To block lawsuits over the Bush administration’s domestic wiretapping program. In one case inherited from the Bush administration, Obama’s Justice Department continued to argue that classified records of eavesdropping on an Islamic charity were state secrets [8]. That evidence was excluded, and the case was allowed to proceed. Wired magazine noted that the two wiretapped lawyers were awarded $20,400 each, a ruling that last week the Obama administration indicated it would appeal [9].

In another case [10], Attorney General Eric Holder said the department “specifically looked for a way to allow this case to proceed while carving out classified information, and ultimately concluded there was no way to do so.” As a candidate, Barack Obama had previously called the surveillance program “unconstitutional and illegal [11].”


Online News Association Professional Member
InfoKwik KC News is a Professional Member

Custom KC News Search





    Advertise on this site


    AddThis Feed Button

    Email:

    To instant news updates in your email.

    Never miss a story!

    Tags: state secrets privilege abuse

    Add a Comment

    Please be civil.

    (Use Markdown for formatting.)

    This question helps prevent spam:

    Browse more...

    News

    Announcement

    Find a Job
    Keywords:
    Location:
    Job category:

    Search This Site
    Search this site or any KC Web Guide

    Got Feedback?
    Send a letter to the editor.

    Subscribe
    Sign up for the Free E-Newsletter.
    Also receive updates automatically in your email.

    Advertise
    Promote your brand at KCWebGuides.com.

    Our lives...

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

    - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    More Quotes

    Subscribe