Publishers' Page: The State of the World…

An artist’s collage juxtaposes the real-life conditions Palestinian workers face in the occupied West Bank with Scarlett Johansson’s role as SodaStream spokesmodel. (Courtesy Electronic Intifada)

Kerry Lowers His Sights as Netanyahu Creates More Obstacles

Outside the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, activists demonstrate against U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his peace proposal, Jan. 29, 2014. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

On the “Jewish State of Israel”

A Jewish settler (unseen at left) places the Israeli flag on a road sign as Israeli troops encircle Palestinian villagers protesting the army’s cutting branches off olive trees on a road leading to the illegal Jewish settlement of Tekoa, south of Bethlehe

In Memoriam: Dr. Eyad El Sarraj (1943-2014)

Dr. Eyad El Serraj at a 1993 press conference in East Jerusalem denouncing Israel’s use of torture. (Ruben Bittermann/Photofile)

United Nations Report: Despite Outcome, Ban Was Right to Invite Iran to Syria Talks

U.N. and Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (l) and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Jan. 22 press conference closing the Geneva II peace talks on Syria. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)

Yemen’s Insecurity Dilemma

Smoke rises from the site of a suicide car bombing at the Yemeni Defense Ministry building in the capital of Sana’a, Dec 5. 2013. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2014 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Sept/Oct 2009, Page 45

Human Rights

Obama Justice Department Seeks Dismissal of Torture Lawsuit

In a June 12 court filing that disappointed many of President Barack Obama’s supporters, the Justice Department asked the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to set aside its April 28 ruling which allowed plaintiffs Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah and Bisher al-Rawi to sue Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., for participating in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program (see July 2009 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,, p. 58). The administration filing contended that in defending itself in a lawsuit the San Jose-based flight planning company “would be required either to admit or to deny the existence of a secret relationship with the CIA—information that...is a state secret.”

Calling the CIA’s rendition and torture program “an international scandal,” not a “state secret,“ plaintiffs’ lawyer, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ben Wizner, lamented, “The Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions.”

Elaine Pasquini

Additional information