November 03, 2015

The Case of Amir Mohamed Meshal

NY Times Can the United States government allow, or even facilitate, the rendition of an American citizen to another country for interrogation? And can United States officials themselves conduct rendition and interrogations of American citizens, including threats of torture, on foreign soil? By PATRICK G. EDDINGTON

'“Had Meshal suffered these injuries in the United States, there is no dispute that he could have sought redress under Bivens,” Judge Pillard wrote. “If Meshal’s tormentors had been foreign officials, he could have sought a remedy under the Torture Victim Protection Act. Yet the majority holds that because of unspecified national security and foreign policy concerns, a United States citizen who was arbitrarily detained, tortured, and threatened with disappearance by United States law enforcement agents in Africa must be denied any remedy whatsoever.”

'Mr. Meshal will almost certainly have to take his case to the full Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; it is highly unlikely the Supreme Court would even consider the case otherwise, assuming Mr. Meshal loses on appeal.

'Mr. Meshal has fallen into a legal black hole, where the light of justice is extinguished in the name of national security. The appellate court decision means that American citizens have no means available to hold the government accountable for violating their constitutional rights, simply because the United States conveniently denied those rights in another country of its choosing.'

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