There is nothing remotely surprising about the news that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Jose Padilla against former Bush lawyer John Yoo over the illegal detention and torture that Yoo provided legal cover for.
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ruled that John Yoo, a former legal counsel to the Bush administration, is immune from a lawsuit by an American citizen convicted on terrorism charges who said he was tortured at a military jail in South Carolina.
Jose Padilla, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2007, had accused Yoo of helping to formulate policies under which those designated as “enemy combatants” by the U.S. government were interrogated and detained.
The San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision which had allowed the suit to proceed.The appeals court found it was unclear at the time of Yoo’s tenure that designated enemy combatants were entitled to the same constitutional protections as other accused criminals. It was also not clearly established at the time that Padilla’s treatment amounted to torture, the court ruled.
The courts had already dismissed cases filed against Rumsfeld and others for the same thing. Welcome to America, where the rule of law is only a comforting myth, where torture is a violation of multiple statutes and treaties but no one is ever held accountable for having ordered it or carried it out, thus negating all of those laws completely.