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Jeppesen Dataplan rendition, torture flights case will be heard
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper), October 28, 2009
Posted: November 16th, 2009

A federal appeals court granted the Obama administration's request ... to rehear a case over a Bay Area company's alleged participation in CIA torture flights, setting the stage for a critical test of government claims of secrecy and national security. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco had reinstated a suit in April by five men who accused the company, Jeppesen Dataplan of San Jose, of taking part in the CIA's extraordinary rendition program that led to their imprisonment and torture. The 3-0 ruling rejected arguments by the Bush and Obama administrations that the case concerned secrets too sensitive to disclose in court. The full appeals court set aside that ruling. President Obama criticized the practice [of extraordinary rendition] but refused to disavow it, promising only that no prisoners would be tortured. Ben Wizner, an ACLU attorney, said ... that he was "disappointed that the Obama administration continues to stand in the way of torture victims having their day in court. This case is not about secrecy. It's about immunity from accountability," Wizner said. In the April ruling reinstating the lawsuit, the three-judge appeals court panel said the government and Jeppesen could take steps to protect national secrets as the case proceeded. The panel said the administration's argument, if accepted, would "cordon off all secret government actions from judicial scrutiny, immunizing the CIA and its contractors from the demands and limits of the law."

Note: For many reports from major media sources of growing government threats to civil liberties, click here.

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