As we debated on Enduring America whether President Obama was going to make a meaningful change to the Bush Administration's rendition policy, preventing the despatch of detainees to countries where they might be tortured or denied legal rights, I was waiting for developments in a court case in San Francisco. Five plaintiffs were suing a subsidiary of Boeing, Jeppesen, which carried out rendition flights.
Well, the news is now out that the President's men want to keep the matter behind closed doors:
A source inside of the Ninth U.S. District Court tells ABC News that a representative of the Justice Department stood up to say that its position hasn't changed, that new administration stands behind arguments that previous administration made, with no ambiguity at all. The DOJ lawyer said the entire subject matter remains a state secret.
An American Civil Liberties Union attorney who represented the plaintiffs reacted:
We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Justice Department has chosen to continue the Bush administration’s practice of dodging judicial scrutiny of extraordinary rendition and torture. This was an opportunity for the new administration to act on its condemnation of torture and rendition, but instead it has chosen to stay the course. Now we must hope that the court will assert its independence by rejecting the government’s false claims of state secrets and allowing the victims of torture and rendition their day in court.
Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan offer damning indictments of the Obama Administration and the Justice Department, while a New York Times article confirms the original leak of the Government's position.