Tortured by the Government You Served? Tough Luck (Will Grigg)
Monday November 12th, 2012
In 2004, a U.S. Navy veteran named Donald Vance went to Iraq to work as a security contractor. When he discovered that the company employing him was deeply corrupt and selling weapons to radical Islamist militias, Vance contacted the FBI and began feeding it information about what he found. Rather than acting on Vance’s disclosures, the military seized him.
For several weeks Vance was imprisoned in an Iraqi dungeon, where he was subjected to relentless and abusive interrogation that legally qualified as torture. Before Vance was released, his captors warned him not to disclose what had been done to him. To his credit, once he was home Vance immediately contacted an attorney and filed a lawsuit against then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed Vance’s lawsuit, arguing that Rumsfeld and every other official in the military chain of command enjoys blanket immunity because abuse and corruption are common within the military bureaucracy.
“People able to exert domination over others often abuse that power,” wrote the court. “[I]t is part of human nature that is very difficult to control.”
Abuses are impossible to prevent if those who commit them are granted immunity for their crimes.