US Court Sides With CIA On Rendition and Torture Case

Sharply Divided Verdict a 'Painful Conflict Between Human Rights and National Security'

In a case that one of the judges declared a “painful conflict between human rights and national security,” the winner was once again clear. And as has so often been the case recently, the winner was not human rights.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan dismissed today because allowing a hearing into the company’s apparent complicity in the extralegal detention, rendition and torture of detainees as part of a secret CIA program was trumped by the “need to protect state secrets.”

The result was a narrow 6-5 vote and even those judges voting in favor of the “national secruity” side of things insisted they did so reluctantly. The Bush Administration, and later the Obama Administration, insisted that the trial carried an “unjustifable risk” that Jeppesen’s defense would involve the leak of state secrets.

The dissenting judges insisted the ruling was too broad and was “dangerous as a means of hiding governmental misbehavior under the huise of national security.” Jeppesen’s involvement in the “extraordinary renditions” was initially uncovered in 2006, when a former employee insisted the managing director of the company bragged about how the company does “the torture flights” and that “it certainly pays well.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.