Judge Lets Army Vet Sue Rumsfeld Over Detention

American contractor says defense sec approved his detention, torture in Iraq
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 4, 2011 7:13 AM CDT
FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2007, file photo, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. A federal judge says Rusmfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former...   (Dennis Cook)
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(Newser) – An Army vet who says he was imprisoned unjustly and tortured by the US military in Iraq can sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages, a judge ruled yesterday. The veteran, a private contractor who worked as a Marine translator in the volatile Anbar province, says he was repeatedly abused while detained for nine months at Camp Cropper. Lawyers for the man, who is in his 50s, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the US military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive.

He says he was released without explanation in August 2006, and argues that Rumsfeld personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis and controlled his detention without access to courts in violation of his constitutional rights. The Obama administration has represented Rumsfeld through the Justice Department and argued that he cannot be sued personally for official conduct. But this is the second time a federal judge has allowed US citizens to sue Rumsfeld personally. Rumsfeld is appealing that ruling, which the judge cited.

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