The Washington Post reports on the Justice Department's effort to dimiss a lawsuit against private companies alleged to have assisted in the rendition of a detainee.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued Jeppesen Dataplan Inc. last year in San Jose federal court, accusing it of aiding the CIA in the "forced disappearance, torture and inhumane treatment" of five suspected terrorists in violation of national and international laws. The ACLU alleges that Jeppesen, based in San Jose, knowingly participated in the program by supplying aircraft, crews and logistical support to the CIA flights.
On Tuesday, Justice Department lawyers asked U.S. District Judge James Ware to toss the lawsuit without further litigation because of unspecified national security risks.
In an earlier court filing, CIA Director Michael Hayden invoked the "state secrets privilege," which would let him bar evidence sensitive to national security from being used in court.
The judge appeared sympathetic to Hayden's position Tuesday, but declined to rule immediately. Ware said he would issue a written opinion soon.
ACLU lawyers argued Tuesday that Hayden's security concerns are trumped because the rendition program is public knowledge.