A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that four former Guantanamo prisoners, all British citizens, have no right to sue top Pentagon officials and military officers for torture, abuse and violations of their religious rights.
The appeals court cited a lack of jurisdiction over the lawsuit, ruled the defendants enjoyed qualified immunity for acts taken within the scope of their government jobs and held the religious right law did not apply to the detainees.
Governmental immunity is a well-established doctrine, but it only applies, as the court pointed out, if the thing the official is accused of was within the scope of his or her employment. I didn't read the opinion itself, but what I assume this means is that court found that, even of the plaintiff's factual claims were true (that is, that they did authorize torture), the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted.
In other words, the court here effectively ruled that authorizing torture is just another day at the office in George Bush's United State of America.
Don't it make you proud?