For some Americans who still believed they weren’t living in a totalitarian state, this Supreme Court decision may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. From James Bovard at lewrockwell.com:
The Supreme Court declared last week that Americans have no right to learn the grisly details of CIA torture because the CIA has never formally confessed its crimes. The verdict symbolizes how the rule of law has become little more than a form of legal mumbo-jumbo to shroud official crimes. Why should anyone expect justice from a Supreme Court that covers up torture?
In 2002, the CIA captured Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian radical, in Pakistan, mistakenly believing he was a kingpin with al-Qaeda. The CIA tortured him for years in Thailand and Poland. As dissenting Justice Neil Gorsuch noted, the CIA “waterboarded Zubaydah at least 80 times, simulated live burials in coffins for hundreds of hours,” and brutalized him to keep him awake for six days in a row. The CIA has admitted some of the details and Zubaydah’s name was mentioned more than a thousand times in a 683-page Senate report on the CIA torture regime released in 2014.
This case turned on the invocation of a holy bureaucratic relic of dubious origin—state secrets. As the court’s 6–3 ruling, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, noted, “To assert the [state secrets] privilege, the Government must submit to the court a ‘formal claim of privilege, lodged by the head of the department which has control over the matter.’” After a government agency claims the privilege, the court “should exercise its traditional “reluctance to intrude upon the authority of the Executive in military and national security affairs,” Breyer wrote. And the most important role for the Supreme Court nowadays is apparently to sanctify the privileges it has awarded federal agencies that committed crime sprees.