Justices block lawsuit over foreign intelligence surveillance
February 26th, 2013
12:31 PM ET

Justices block lawsuit over foreign intelligence surveillance

By Bill Mears

The Supreme Court rejected an effort by a group of attorneys, journalists and others to proceed with a lawsuit over the federal government's sweeping electronic monitoring of foreigners suspected of terrorism or spying.

The 5-4 conservative majority on Tuesday concluded that the plaintiffs lacked "standing" or jurisdiction to proceed, without a specific showing they have been monitored. The National Security Agency has in turn refused to disclose monitoring specifics, which detractors call "Catch-22" logic.

Justice Samuel Alito said plaintiffs "cannot demonstrate that the future injury they purportedly fear is certainly impending."

The justices did not address the larger questions of the program's constitutionality, and this ruling will make it harder for future lawsuits to proceed.

FULL POST

October 19th, 2012
04:51 AM ET

Drunk contractors cause harm in Afghanistan, lawsuit alleges

By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd

The amateur video shows men, shirtless and seeming dangerously drunk, rolling on the ground or staggering near a counter top covered with booze bottles. Another part of the video shows a man babbling incoherently with a syringe nearby.

This is not a scene at a college frat house. It is a video of employees of an American security contractor working in Kabul, Afghanistan.

"It reminded me of times I'd visit my friends going to college that were in fraternities," said John Melson, a former employee of Jorge Scientific who was based at that villa in Kabul on assignment to support efforts to train Afghan security personnel.

The images in this video are now part of a lawsuit by two former employees of Jorge Scientific who allege that contractors with the firm were careless with their guns, abused local staffers, wrecked cars, destroyed furniture, and often could not perform their duties due to drunkenness.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Contractors • Kabul • Lawsuit
UK blocks extradition of Pentagon hacker
Gary McKinnon is shown at a news conference in London on January 15, 2009.
October 16th, 2012
09:36 AM ET

UK blocks extradition of Pentagon hacker

By Laura Smith-Sparks

The UK government Tuesday blocked the extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the United States to face trial for what the U.S. government says is the biggest military computer hacking of all time.

Home Secretary Theresa May said McKinnon's Asperger syndrome and depressive illness meant "there is such a high risk of him ending his own life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with his human rights."

Gary McKinnon has admitted to breaking into computers at NASA and the Pentagon but says he did so to find out if the U.S. government was covering up the existence of UFOs.

The 46-year-old has fought a decade-long battle against extradition.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Lawsuit • Military
Court blocks release of CIA interrogation methods
May 21st, 2012
05:14 PM ET

Court blocks release of CIA interrogation methods

By Bill Mears

CIA secret interrogation methods - including detention and harsh questioning of suspected terrorists - remain off limits to public release, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The agency was sued eight years ago to provide details of certain communications describing the use of waterboarding and other direct intelligence-gathering methods of foreign terror suspects. A three-judge panel from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled "intelligence methods" are not subject to a Freedom of Information Act request from the lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"We give substantial weight to the government's declarations, which establish that disclosing the redacted portions of the (secret memos) would reveal the existence and scope of a highly classified, active intelligence activity," said the judges. FULL POST

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Filed under: CIA • Gitmo • Intelligence • Lawsuit • Legal • Living With Terror
Lawsuit seeks disclosure of Guantanamo interrogation videos
A US military member manning a watch tower at Camp Delta at the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay.
January 10th, 2012
11:12 AM ET

Lawsuit seeks disclosure of Guantanamo interrogation videos

By CNN's Carol Cratty

A legal group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit on Monday asking that videotapes showing the interrogation of a terror detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be made public.

The suit filed in the Southern District of New York is focused on interrogation techniques used on Mohammed al-Qahtani, a man U.S. authorities have said was intended to be the 20th hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks.

"From 2002 through 2003, Mr. al-Qahtani was the victim of a deliberate and calculated interrogation strategy involving the repeated use of torture and other profoundly cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment," according to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

The lawsuit says al-Qahtani was subjected to severe sleep deprivation, isolation, 20-hour interrogations, severe temperatures and forced nudity. The suit says al-Qahtani also experienced "religious, sexual, and moral humiliation" including instances in which female interrogators straddled him.
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Filed under: 9/11 • Al Qaeda • Detainees • Gitmo • Lawsuit • Terrorism
WikiLeaks founder keeps tabs on Army hearing
December 21st, 2011
05:58 PM ET

WikiLeaks founder keeps tabs on Army hearing

By Charley Keyes

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been 4,000 miles away from the military courtroom where Army prosecutors have rolled out their espionage case against Pfc. Bradley Manning.

But Assange's name has come up repeatedly and his lawyers have been in the third row of the spectator pews in the Fort Meade, Maryland, courthouse, listening to as much as they can and fighting to gain additional access.

It is one of the bizarre legal twists in this complicated case that the man responsible for posting the secrets Manning allegedly stole is fighting to be able to listen in, through his lawyers, to details of the leaked documents.

The government still considers those documents so secret that it repeatedly closes the courtroom to journalists and the public, and holds many discussions in the judge's chambers.
FULL POST

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Filed under: Army • Bradley Manning • Intelligence • Iraq • Lawsuit • Legal • Military • Pentagon • Spying • UK
Medal of Honor recipient settles lawsuit
December 15th, 2011
07:52 PM ET

Medal of Honor recipient settles lawsuit

By Charley Keyes

Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer and defense contractor BAE announced Thursday an "amicable" end to their dispute.

Meyer filed a lawsuit in Texas in June claiming BAE, his former employer, had punished him for objecting to a weapons sale to Pakistan, and had prevented him from finding other work by portraying him as unstable and a problem drinker. The lawsuit against the company and his former supervisor has been dropped.  (Also read: Marines stand by version of Medal of Honor battle)

"BAE Systems OASYS and I have settled our differences amicably," Meyer said in a joint statement issued by the company, referring to the company by its full name. Meyer praised the defense firm's support for veterans and generosity to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

There were no details of any possible monetary settlement.

"During my time there I became concerned about the possible sale of advanced thermal scopes to Pakistan. I expressed my concerns directly and respectfully," Meyer said. "I am gratified to learn that BAE Systems OASYS did not ultimately sell and does not intend to sell advanced thermal scopes to Pakistan."

The company faced the difficult task of a potentially drawn-out legal battle against an American hero. FULL POST

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Filed under: Lawsuit • Medal of Honor • Military
Medal of Honor hero sues contractor
November 29th, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Medal of Honor hero sues contractor

By Charley Keyes

America's newest Medal of Honor recipient has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, defense contractor BAE Systems, alleging the company and his supervisor there punished him for his opposition to a weapons sale to Pakistan and prevented him from finding other work by portraying him as a problem drinker and mentally unstable.

Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the honor in September, objected to the company's sale of high-tech armaments to Pakistan, according to the lawsuit, saying the U.S. weapons sale is "giving to guys who are known to stab us in the back" and "the same people who are killing our guys."

In response, BAE is carefully pushing forward with defending itself in the case while not personally criticizing the Medal of Honor recipient.
"As an organization whose core focus is to support and protect our nation's troops, we are incredibly grateful to Dakota Meyer for his valiant service and bravery above and beyond the call of duty," Brian J. Roehrkasse, a BAE spokesman, told CNN.  "Although we strongly disagree with his claims, which we intend to vigorously defend through the appropriate legal process, we wish him success and good fortune in all his endeavors." FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Lawsuit • Medal of Honor • Military • Pakistan • weapons