NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing Company, on behalf of three victims of the United States government's unlawful "extraordinary rendition" program. The lawsuit charges that Jeppesen knowingly provided direct flight services to the CIA that enabled the clandestine transportation....Among the specifics, the ACLU alleges:
In July 2002, Ethiopian citizen Binyam Mohamed, while in CIA custody, was stripped, blindfolded, shackled, dressed in a tracksuit....Yes: this is clearly tracksuit torture. The suspect was dressed in a tracksuit! More seriously, search, shackling, etc. are standard procedure for prisoners. These procedures are particularly important when dealing with members of a suicide cult like Al Qaeda. Further, why sue the airline because the CIA shackles a prisoner?
In another specific, the ACLU claims:
In December 2001, Egyptian citizen Ahmed Agiza was chained, shackled, and drugged by the CIA and flown from Sweden to Egypt ...So, an Egyptian citizen was flown to Egypt! And the ACLU wants to sue not Egypt, not the CIA: it wants to sue the airline. Egypt may very well be cruel to its citizens, but why sue the airline?
More importantly, imagine what would happen to civil liberties if the ACLU succeeded in establishing the principle that an airline should not carry a passenger unless it approves of what the passenger is doing or what he might do at the destination. Imagine the gate attendent at US Air interviewing you about the purpose of your trip and cross-checking against approved activities. If the ACLU wins, civil liberties would lose.