Court: Men can’t sue Rumsfeld
Two American whistleblowers alleging U.S. forces tortured them in Iraq can’t sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to a federal appeals court in Chicago that found those along the military command chain enjoy broad immunity from such torture claims.
Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel filed a lawsuit claiming they were detained in 2006 and tortured after they accused an Iraqi-owned company they worked for of illegally running guns. They argued Rumsfeld personally approved interrogation methods for use by the U.S. military in Iraq, making him responsible for what happened to them.
Navy SEALS punished for breach
Seven members of the secretive Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, have been punished for disclosing classified information, senior Navy officials said Thursday.
Four other SEALs are under investigation for similar alleged violations, one official said.
They are alleged to have divulged classified information to the maker of a video game.
Each of the seven received a punitive letter of reprimand and a partial forfeiture of pay for two months. Those actions generally hinder a military member’s career.
Afghans to testify in soldier’s hearing
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash.
Afghan villagers and soldiers are expected to testify by video from Afghanistan tonight, Saturday night and possibly Sunday night in a preliminary hearing of a soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians during a nighttime rampage.
The witness list against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales for tonight includes two Afghan National Army guards, two victims and four relatives of victims.
The 39-year-old Ohio native and father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., could face the death penalty if convicted of 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder in the March 11 attack in southern Afghanistan.
SF plans to provide transgender surgery
San Francisco is preparing to become the first U.S. city to provide and cover the cost of sex-reassignment surgeries for uninsured transgender residents.
The city’s Health Commission voted Tuesday to create a comprehensive program for treating transgender people experiencing mental distress because of the mismatch between their bodies and their gender identities. San Francisco already provides transgender residents with hormones, counseling and routine health services but has stopped short of offering surgical interventions, Public Health Director Barbara Garcia said Thursday after the vote was announced.
Dad convicted in Facebook posting
A Chicago man accused of binding his 22-month-old daughter with tape and posting a picture on Facebook with a caption that read, “This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back,” was convicted Thursday of battery charges.
Andre Curry, 22, was found guilty by a judge after a bench trial of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery. He faces a sentence ranging from probation to 7 years in prison.
The girl’s mother and Curry’s lawyer said the father was merely having fun with the child. But the judge disagreed and criticized Curry for obstructing his child’s breathing for his own enjoyment.