In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, a gaggle of suspected terrorists were rounded and sent off to secret overseas locations for some tortu . . . I mean "enhanced interrogation." But how did the baddies get to their locations du waterboard? Easy, they flew on a Boeing subsidiary.
This, of course, may have been illegal. But as the United States Supreme Court proved once again today, nothing we did that relates to 9/11 was illegal so long as we did it.
The Associated Press reports today that the high court has thrown out an appeal that would have revived a lawsuit against Boeing for flying detainees to secret prisons (aka "extraordinary rendition").
The court cites the same "state secrets" excuse it's used on pretty much every other challenge to post-9/11 legal practices that, under other circumstances, would have likely violated a half-dozen laws and the U.S. Constitution.
The case involved five terrorism suspects who were arrested shortly after 9/11 and said they were flown by a Boeing Co. subsidiary to prisons around the world where they were tortured. A divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco cited national security risks in dismissing the men's case last year.
The terror suspects sued Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan in 2007, alleging that the extraordinary rendition program amounted to illegal "forced disappearances." They alleged that the San Jose-based subsidiary conspired with the CIA to operate the program.
A trial court judge quickly dismissed the lawsuit after the Bush administration took over defense of the case from Chicago-based Boeing and invoked the state secrets privilege, demanding a halt to the litigation over concern that top secret intelligence would be divulged.
"State secrets": It's like calling "1, 2, 3, not it!" for the government.