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Tortured? Tough Luck. Is that Change You Can Believe In?

Have you been detained by the United States without charges and then tortured?

President Barack Obama has declared no criminal charges will be brought against the people who conspired to torture you. They won’t even be professionally disciplined.

President Barack Obama has declared that people who have been tortured can’t bring a civil case either: not against the government and not against corporate contractors for the government. The whole thing is a state secret, Barack Obama says, and people can’t bring the government or corporations to court for offenses that are state secrets. Yesterday, a court upheld Barack Obama’s declaration, explaining in its decision that “when the very subject matter of a lawsuit is a matter of state secret, the action must be dismissed without reaching the question of evidence.”

Don’t call it the Bush policy. This is the Obama policy: if you’re tortured in public, then maybe you can do something about it. But if you’re tortured in secret, there’s nothing you can do. Nothing.

Is that Change You Can Believe In?

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