From an International Herald Tribune article we can get some background on a civil case filed back in 2007. Feel free to read the complaint and get all the details.
The American Civil Liberties Union plans to file a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that a subsidiary of Boeing aided the Central Intelligence Agency in the forced transportation of three plaintiffs who say they were captured and flown to overseas prisons and in some cases tortured.
The civil suit is to be filed in San Jose, California, under the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789. This law specifies that U.S. government agencies and U.S. corporations can be held responsible for human rights abuses against foreigners resulting from activities in a foreign country.
The Bush administration was trying to get the case dismissed through the use of its states secrets privilege which you can read more about here.
Last Monday, a Justice Department lawyer dispatched by the new attorney general, Eric Holder, appeared before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco and advanced the same expansive state-secrets argument that was pressed by Mr. Bush’s lawyers to get a trial court to dismiss the case without any evidence being presented. Marc Ambinder published an article in the Atlantic supporting the Obama administration's decision. He states:
"The State Secret Privilege is perhaps the most powerful executive tool available for any president to use, and thus the Obama administration's decision to preserve its invocation, in Mohamed v. Jeppesen, was immediately interpreted by the vocal civil libertarian community as a betrayal of its basic principles."
Glenn Greenwald rips Ambinder's arguments to shreds and takes him to task for his so-called journalism. It's not as biting as Steven Colbert's classic skewering of the press at the White House Correspondent's Association Dinner, but just as telling.
What a shame the current administration is continuing this abuse of the state secrets privilege.