Obama Administration Decides to Uphold Secrecy in Torture Case
By Kevin Vodak
February 12, 2009
During the Bush Administration, an ad hoc coalition, the Coalition to Ground Boeing Torture Flights, was formed to oppose the use of extraordinary rendition and particularly the involvement of Boeing’s subsidiary, Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., in this practice. CAIR-Chicago has been very active in this coalition and sponsored a protest at the Boeing Annual Shareholder’s meeting in Chicago last year. See http://www.cairchicago.org/ournews.php?file=on_boeingprotest04282008.
CAIR-Chicago has continued its efforts to end all torture practices of the U.S. government, and this effort has not gone to the wayside under the Obama Administration. The Coalition has been monitoring the lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of torture victims as well as Obama’s orders concerning extraordinary rendition. While we had hoped that the Obama Administration would completely reverse the Bush doctrine of torture under secrecy, on February 9, 2009, this hope was dashed by the new Justice Department maintaining a veil of “national security” as the basis for dismissing the ACLU lawsuit. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges were surprised by the new administration’s position, in light of President Obama’s clear pronouncements against torture.
We are drafting a letter to Obama and other officials that will address the ACLU case as well as the loopholes that remain in Obama’s executive orders concerning extraordinary rendition. The letter will be finalized in the near future, which will have signatories from various groups in Chicago, with the intent of fully reversing the Bush Administration’s horrific practices and obtaining justice for the victims.