Executive Accountability Loophole

. . . through which one could easily drive a complete tyranny.

MSNBC.com reports:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday terminated a lawsuit from a man who claims he was abducted and tortured by the CIA, effectively endorsing Bush administration arguments that state secrets would be revealed if the case were allowed to proceed.

Read the entire article. The evidence is there that this option has been misused, and how could one possibly expect that it would not be misused? It’s too nice of a loophole, and it sounds so good. “Your security would be compromised if we were accountable on this issue, so we get to do what we want.” Somehow this makes some people feel safer for completely unknown reasons.

This is one of those things that makes me want to hold my nose and vote Democratic, rather than holding my nose and voting Republican (not holding my nose doesn’t appear to be an option), simply because the Democrats are more likely to put judges on the bench who are willing to hold the executive branch accountable for their actions.

There are secrets that need to be kept, but somehow the courts need to find a way to keep accountability, whilst protecting them. Perhaps we need a law that would provide a special judicial panel that could review claims of “state secrets” in secret, and then rule on such a claim.

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  1. Indeed, as you said here, you look more and more like a terrorist state. I hope Angela Merkel has the courage of her convictions and puts the very highest level of diplomatic pressure on the USA to do the right thing by this German citizen. The amazing thing is that the government can settle this by paying a mere $75,000, without even having to admit anything if they don’t want to, and yet they are prepared to risk their international credibility, in Europe as well as the Arab world, for this.

  2. From Condoleezza Rice’s words in Moscow, as reported by the BBC:

    “I think that there is too much concentration of power in the Kremlin. Everybody has doubts about the full independence of the judiciary.”

    She added: “I am quite confident that your goal is to build institutions that are indigenous to Russia… but that are also respectful of what we all know to be universal values.”

    Those values included “the rights of individuals to liberty…, the right to assembly, the right to not have to deal with the arbitrary power of the state”, Ms Rice said.

    Matthew 7:3-5

  3. Just so. This ties in to my more recent post The Potential of Secrecy without Accountability, though that case is on an American citizen, and it is not nearly as definite that he is in the right. The problem is that secrecy is being used to prevent us from discovering the truth. When this sort of thing happened in communist countries, or happens today in countries of which we don’t approve (we=U.S.), we protest.

    The log is definitely in our eye, and the direction is dangerous.

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