by JG Vibes
When seeking retribution against the government, the gears of justice grind slowly, if they even move at all. Recently, a court ruled that people who are alleged victims of torture are not legally allowed to bring charges against Donald Rumsfeld.
“A federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled that two American contractors allegedly tortured by U.S. forces in Iraq can’t sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The 8-3 decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a ruling by a three-judge panel of the same court.
Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel claim in their lawsuit that U.S. forces detained them in 2006 after they alleged illegal activities by their Iraqi-owned employer.The majority opinion says there’s nothing in law granting them rights to sue Rumsfeld or others in the line of military command. It says subjecting those in the command chain to such lawsuits could hamper military effectiveness. The ruling adds that making defense secretaries liable for damages could unduly distract them from their critical public duties. “
The short version, of course, is that Rumsfeld and people in his position are above the law, and they are not subject to the same rules and consequences that the rest of society is. Also this shows how state violence is dispersed between so many different people and compartmentalized in such a way that it is really difficult to pinpoint any blame or responsibility on anyone.
The ruling states that “The secretary of defense has more than a million soldiers under his command. People able to exert domination over others often abuse that power; it is a part of human nature that is very difficult to control.”
This language in the ruling suggests that it is the individuals who take the actions in the moment that are held responsible, yet when someone tries to hold these people accountable, it is said that they were “just following orders” or “just doing their job”. Also, very ironically, the statement describes exactly why human beings should never have this kind of power over other human beings to begin with.
The attorney who represented the two alleged torture victims, Michael Kanovitz, said after the trial that “I think the majority opinion is incorrect.” He also added that a supreme court appeal was still an option.
Read more articles by this author HERE.
J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter-culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intel Hub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio.
You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com
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