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July 24, 2006

Secretary Rumsfeld Continues to Argue Against Responsibility for Torture and Abuse

In the latest development in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and Human Rights First against Secretary Rumsfeld, on July 21, 2006, the Secretary reasserted his argument that he is immune from responsibility for acts of torture and abuse committed under his watch. The lawsuit, together with three other suits filed by the ACLU, sets forth the legal basis for holding Secretary Rumsfeld and other high ranking members of the armed services responsible for torture and abuse of nine civilians detained by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Retired military officers and military legal experts have filed an amicus brief in support of the ACLU’s and Human Rights First’s suit, arguing against Secretary Rumsfeld’s position on the basis that allowing the federal case to proceed would not be an intrusion into matters of national security and military decision-making. Two of the world’s foremost scholars on the international laws against torture and abusive treatment have also filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit.