The Torture Judge

U.S. court rules our government can break international laws to keep us safe

Is it the job of a federal judge here to protect other governments from embarrassment and eventual punishment by their own courts for helping the United States commit crimes?

And what about our own government's criminal accountability? The February 17 New York Law Journal noted that "Judge Trager said that even assuming the government had intended to remove Maher Arar to Syria for torture, the federal judiciary was in no position to hold our government officials liable for damages 'in the absence of explicit direction by Congress . . . even if such conduct violates our treaty obligations or customary international law.' " (Emphasis added.)

Federal judge David Trager: Am I my president's keeper?
photo: Rick Kopstein
Federal judge David Trager: Am I my president's keeper?

If independent federal judges cannot hold our government accountable, who can? Fortunately, Judge Trager is not on the Supreme Court. But look at whom George W. Bush has appointed to be our custodians of the Constitution!

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