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9th Circuit Throws Out CIA Torture Lawsuit For National Security Reasons

Publication Date: 
September 09, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Carol J. Williams

Senior Lecturer Allen Weiner is quoted in the LA Times on a decision by U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that says the right to seek damages from Boeing on behalf of alleged victims, five men who were kidnapped and tortured by the CIA, is outweighed by the risk of state secrets being exposed:

Five foreign men who say they were kidnapped and tortured by the CIA cannot sue the Boeing Co. subsidiary that helped spirit them away for interrogations because of the risk of secret intelligence matters being exposed at trial, a sharply divided federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The decision in the closely watched case was a significant victory for the Obama administration because it recognized a president's power to protect wartime actions from judicial scrutiny by invoking the state secrets doctrine.


"Maybe that's their way of doing rough justice," Allen Weiner, a Stanford University national security law professor, said of the unusual award of attorney fees to a losing party. "They may be saying the government gets its way, but we don't have to pile on and make the [plaintiffs] pay for losing."