Bush Scandals List

301. DC Circuit court says torture is OK; detainees not persons

On January 11, 2008, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a suit by 4 British Moslems formerly held at Guantanamo: Shafiq Rasul (yes, that Rasul), Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmed, and Jamal al Harith. They had sued in part under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but the court found that they were not “persons” under the act since they were aliens who had been held outside the United States. They also alleged torture to which the court responded, “It was foreseeable that conduct that would ordinarily be indisputably ‘seriously criminal’ would be implemented by military officials responsible for detaining and interrogating suspected enemy combatants.” The finding under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a dodge but in its denial of legal rights to non US citizens it leads directly to the admission that seriously criminal conduct against non US citizens, i.e. torture is acceptable to the point of being foreseeable as far as the US judicial system is concerned. This is extraordinary, frightening, and desperately disappointing.

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