Just When You Thought The Administration Couldn't Get Anymore

By Andrew Zajac Washington Bureau

The Bush administration is aggressively wielding a rarely used executive power known as the state secrets privilege in an attempt to squash hard-hitting court challenges to its anti-terrorism campaign.How the White House is using this privilege, not a law but a series of legal precedents built on national security, disturbs some civil libertarians and open-government advocates because of its sweeping power. Judges almost never challenge the government's assertion of the privilege, and it can be fatal to a plaintiff's case.

The government is invoking the privilege in an attempt to wipe out the heart of a lawsuit that seeks to examine rendition, the secretive and controversial practice of sending terror suspects to foreign countries where they might be tortured. Use of the secrets privilege also could eliminate a suit by a former FBI contract linguist who charges that the bureau bungled translations of terrorism intelligence before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. read on

secretive, guess again. (hat tip jvh)


Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.