In a robust ruling in favor of Abu Ghraib detainees, an appellate court ruled Friday that torture is such a clear violation of the law that it is “beyond the power of even the president to declare such conduct lawful.”
The ruling from a unanimous panel of judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates a lawsuit against a military contractor for its role in the torture of four men at the notorious prison in Iraq.
Last June, a district court ruled that a “cloud of ambiguity” surrounds the definition of torture, and that despite anti-torture laws, the decision to torture was a “political question” that could not be judged by courts.
That ruling echoed the widely discredited legal theories of the Bush administration, which argued that the war on terror gave the president the inherent authority to indefinitely detain and torture terror suspects, and conduct mass surveillance on Americans’ international communications.
But the Fourth Circuit soundly rejected that theory, saying that the United States has clear laws against torturing detainees that apply to the executive branch.…The Intercept
Major New Court Ruling Says “Even The President” Can’t Declare Torture Lawful