Remedies for Misconduct in War Zones - NYTimes.com

If Americans are barred from suing the government for misconduct in a war zone, there would be no way to hold officials accountable for even gross violations of constitutional rights in those situations. Such an outcome would do extraordinary damage to principles of law and provide untenable protection for officials, who claim a national security interest in shielding their misconduct.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is scheduled to rehear a case on this issue on Wednesday. Vance v. Rumsfeld involves two men who worked for an American security firm in Iraq and were detained by American military forces for three months and six weeks, respectively, after they expressed concern that the firm was involved with illegal activity, including weapons trafficking. They claimed that they were tortured by the military while in custody. They were eventually released with no charges filed.

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