7th Circ. Says Rumsfeld Can't Be Held Liable For Torture

By Brian Mahoney (November 8, 2012, 1:45 PM EST) -- The Seventh Circuit ruled Wednesday that two former U.S. government contractors cannot hold ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally liable for their alleged torture in Iraq, the latest defeat for a private damages argument that has failed in two other circuits.

In an 8-3 decision, the circuit court held that federal law does not provide a private right of action for damages against military personnel and their commanders, meaning Rumsfeld cannot be held liable for the alleged torture of contractors Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel under anti-torture laws like the Detainee Treatment Act. 

"Unless there is a right of action against...

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