The argument is that the very subject matter of the suit is a state secret so sensitive that it cannot be discussed in court, and it is no more persuasive now than it was when the Bush team pioneered it.Actually, to many people living in the real world, that argument is quite persuasive. Apparently it is persuasive even to the Obama administration, who, now that they are in power, have to deal with the reality that sometimes national security involves secrecy. And amazingly enough, protecting the U.S. is more important than the purely theoretical rights of a few alien terrorist suspects who claim they were tortured. Even the Obama administration seems to understand that, unlike the New York Times. The Times says
the Obama administration should not be invoking state secrets to cover up charges of rendition and torture.Why not? Embarrassing charges that can damage the U.S. and possibly affect current operations are exactly the kind of things that should be covered up by invoking state secrets. In addition, the Obama administration has already decided to continue the rendition program. Why risk compromising it by having damaging secrets come out in court?
If the New York Times editorial board is screaming, and all the so-called civil libertarian protectors of foreign terrorist "rights" are upset, you know the Obama administration did something right for a change. In my opinion, the secret operations of the CIA do not belong in the court system. If innocent people were tortured, or even just detained unjustly, quiet restitution should be made, and worked out in conjunction with the home countries of the victims. They aren't U.S. citizens; they were seized in wartime; and they are not entitled to rights in court. I have yet to hear a decent argument as to why the U.S. should expose its secret operations in civilian court, just to satisfy some alien terror suspects. The job of the U.S. government is to protect the U.S. and its citizens first. And if that causes difficulties for foreign nationals, their governments can take it up with ours, and a settlement can be worked out.