High Court Lets Ashcroft, Mueller Off the Hook
Posted on May 18, 2009
The nation’s top court decided on Monday that former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI honcho Robert Mueller aren’t directly accountable for the abuses that Pakistani detainee Javaid Iqbal, a Muslim, says he endured as a result of his race and religion in a New York prison in 2002.
AP via Google News:
The court overturned a lower court decision that let Javaid Iqbal’s ... lawsuit against the high-ranking officials proceed.
Iqbal is a Pakistani Muslim who spent nearly six months in solitary confinement in New York in 2002. He had argued that while Ashcroft and Mueller did not single him out for mistreatment, they were responsible for a policy of confining detainees in highly restrictive conditions because of their religious beliefs or race.
But the government argued that there was nothing linking Mueller and Ashcroft to the abuses that happened to Iqbal at a Brooklyn, N.Y., prison’s Administrative Maximum Special Housing Unit, and the court agreed.
“The complaint does not show or even intimate, that petitioners purposefully housed detainees in the ADMAX SHU due to their race, religion or national origin,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion. “All it plausibly suggests is that the nation’s top law enforcement officers, in the aftermath of a devastating attack, sought to keep suspected terrorists in the most secure conditions available until the suspects could be cleared of terrorist activity.”
Flickr / NCinDC