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9 Nov 2010

Shannon Mackenzie Orr, Right Respect

Right Respect Report: The State Secrets Privilege and the Supreme Court

...[A] set of corporate cases [before the US Supreme Court] may have important implications for human rights advocates around the world, General Dynamics Corp. v. United States...and The Boeing Company v. United States...[They] will address...the state secrets privilege...[which] permits the government to block the release of any information in a lawsuit that, if disclosed, would cause harm to national security...Any discussion regarding the scope and limitations of the privilege by the Court...may have drastic consequences for litigants in two particular cases...seeking to contest actions accomplished in pursuit of the [US] War on Terror... [including] Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, a case recently dismissed in its entirety...Mohamed involves five non-citizens who claim that...Jeppesen Dataplan (a Boeing Subsidiary corporation) transported them via aircraft (flights commonly referred to as “torture flights”...) to CIA “black sites” and provided logistical support for their imprisonment and torture...[W]ithout further limitations in scope and directions from Supreme Court on this judicially created doctrine, corporations will now be able to reap the benefits of the government’s privileges of immunity, secrecy and isolation from critical review. [also refers to AT&T, Adobe, Verizon, Hewlett Packard (HP)]