Never before in history has a U.S. court allowed a torture suit to proceed against a current or former Cabinet Secretary.
That is, until now.
Federal Judge Wayne R. Andersen is allowing a lawsuit charging former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with authorizing the use of torture. Navy veteran Donald Vance has accused U.S. forces in Iraq of subjecting him to severe sleep deprivation and extremely cold temperatures, and denying him food and water for extended periods during the three months he was held in prison.
The court flatly rejected a request for dismissal filed on the grounds that Rumsfeld was immune from suit as high-placed governmental official. This decision echoes the fundamental constitutional principles that our movement has fiercely fought for: Torture is not just wrong, it is illegal. No one is above the law.
This is only the beginning. A torture lawsuit against Rumsfeld in a U.S. court could open the floodgates for similar legal actions against other top-level officials of the Bush administration. We must all give determined political support to this legal struggle. It is time to redouble our efforts.
On March 20, IndictBushNow will join thousands of others in the streets of Washington, D.C. at the National March on Washington against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars initiated by the Bush administration. We will continue to take to the streets in defense of justice, accountability, and the Constitution. Our fight is not over.