While the Republicans worked hard yesterday to protect Bush and his administration from political prosecution for war crimes, a judge ruled that former administration officials don’t have immunity.
A federal judge in Idaho has ruled that former attorney general John D. Ashcroft can be held personally responsible for the wrongful detention of a U.S. citizen arrested as a “material witness” in a terrorism case.
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge, in a ruling issued late Wednesday, dismissed claims by the Justice Department that Ashcroft and other officials should be granted immunity from claims by a former star college football player arrested at Dulles International Airport in 2003.
Attorneys for the plaintiff in the civil suit, Abdullah al-Kidd, said the decision raises the possibility that Ashcroft could be forced to testify or turn over records about the government’s use of the material witness law, a cornerstone of its controversial legal strategy after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
This should be a warning for all current administration officials. You may feel protected right now, but as soon as your gone then there are no-holds barred. This is the exact same thing that legal scholars warned about with the NSA wiretapping program. Immunity is not a right and you can very well find yourself in the hot seat at the end of the day.