The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., had ruled that government officials were immune from suit because at that time it was unclear whether abusing prisoners at Guantanamo was illegal.
Channeling their predecessors in the George W. Bush administration, Obama Justice Department lawyers argued in this case that there is no constitutional right not to be tortured or otherwise abused in a U.S. prison abroad.
The Obama administration had asked the court not to hear the case. By agreeing, the court let stand an earlier opinion by the D.C. Circuit Court, which found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – a statute that applies by its terms to all “persons” – did not apply to detainees at Guantanamo, effectively ruling that the detainees are not persons at all for purposes of U.S. law.
The lower court also dismissed the detainees’ claims under the Alien Tort Statute and the Geneva Conventions, finding defendants immune on the basis that “torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants.”
Finally, the circuit court found that, even if torture and religious abuse were illegal, defendants were immune under the Constitution because they could not have reasonably known that detainees at Guantanamo had any constitutional rights.
The circuit court ruled that “torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants.” (ht2 Chris Floyd)
See also A Tiny Revolution for the fantasy world that allows this criminal activity to continue.