Court Dismissed Case Against
Boeing Subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan
September 9, 2010 - A
federal appeals court on Wednesday dismissed a case against Boeing
subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan, Inc. for its role in the Bush
administration's extraordinary rendition program. The American Civil
Liberties Union and the ACLU of Northern California filed the lawsuit in
May 2007 on behalf of five men who were kidnapped by the CIA, forcibly
administration intervened in the case, improperly asserting the "state
secrets" privilege in an attempt to have the lawsuit thrown out.
administration appealed that ruling, and in December the appeal was
heard by an en banc panel of all 11 Ninth Circuit judges. According to
the ACLU, the ruling all but shuts the door on accountability for the
illegal program. The ACLU intends to seek Supreme Court review of the
is a sad day not only for the torture victims whose attempt to seek
justice has been extinguished, but for all Americans who care about the
rule of law and our nation's reputation in the world. To date, not a
single victim of the Bush administration's torture program has had his
day in court.
decision is allowed to stand, the
During the Bush
administration, the practice of "extraordinary rendition" was used to
apprehend and detain foreign nationals suspected of involvement in
terrorism. The suspect would be arrested and secretly transferred to
prisons run by foreign intelligence agencies in countries know to
torture, or to CIA-run "black sites."
In 2007, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against Jeppesen DataPlan, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing Company, on behalf of five extraordinary rendition victims. The suit charges that Jeppesen knowingly participated in these renditions by providing critical flight planning and logistical support services to aircraft and crews used by the CIA to forcibly disappear these five men to torture, detention and interrogation.
According to published reports, Jeppesen had actual knowledge of the consequences of its activities. A former Jeppesen employee informed The New Yorker magazine that, at an internal corporate meeting, a senior Jeppesen official stated, "We do all of the extraordinary rendition flights - you know, the torture flights. Let's face it, some of these flights end up that way."
Shortly after the
suit was filed, the government intervened and inappropriately asserted
the "state secrets privilege," claiming further litigation would
undermine national security interests, even though much of the evidence
needed to try the case was already available to the public. To date, not
a single torture victim has had his day in court.
In July 2002, Ethiopian citizen Binyam Mohamed, while in CIA
custody, was stripped, blindfolded, shackled, dressed in a tracksuit,
strapped to the seat of a plane and flown to Morocco where he was
secretly detained for 18 months and interrogated and tortured by
Moroccan intelligence services.
In January 2004,
Mohamed was once again blindfolded, stripped, and shackled by CIA agents
and flown to the secret U.S. detention facility known as the "Dark
Prison" in Kabul, Afghanistan where he was again tortured and eventually
transferred to another facility and then to the U.S. Naval Station at
Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was released in February 2009.
Britel In May 2002, Italian citizen Abou Elkassim Britel was handcuffed,
blindfolded, stripped, dressed in a diaper, chained, and flown by the
CIA from Pakistan to Morocco where he was tortured by Moroccan
intelligence agents and where he is now incarcerated.
Ahmed Agiza In
December 2001, Egyptian citizen Ahmed Agiza was chained, shackled, and
drugged by the CIA and flown from
Ahmad Bashmilah In October 2003, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah was taken
into custody by the Jordanian General Intelligence Department and
tortured and interrogated for days. On the morning of October 26, 2003
he was turned over to agents who beat, kicked, diapered, hooded and
handcuffed him before secretly transporting him to the U.S. Air Force
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