9 Aug 2011

US Court clears way for torture suit against Rumsfeld

A federal appeals court has cleared the way for a civil suit against former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld by two Americans who allege they were tortured while being held by the US military in Iraq.

The three-judge panel upheld a ruling by a lower court judge who denied a Justice Department motion to drop the suit brought by Donald Vance and Nathan Ertell against Rumsfeld in 2006.


Vance and Ertell allege in the suit that they reported to the FBI that they suspected the privately owned Iraqi security company they worked for, Shield Group Security, was paying off an Iraqi sheikh to obtain government contracts.

But when the security company began to suspect their loyalty, they were taken into custody by the US military and held incommunicado at Camp Cropper where they were subjected to violence, sleep deprivation and extremes of light and sound.

They were released without charges -- Ertell after six weeks and Vance after three months.