A Black Hole for Americans' Rights Abroad

Appeals court shuts down suit by man who says he was threatened with torture.

Maybe the Supreme Court will help.

Photographer: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Can an American detained and allegedly tortured by the FBI at black sites outside the U.S. sue for damages? A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said no last week, on the ground that the violations of the citizen’s rights took place abroad. The distinction is mistaken, and the decision is wrong. The Constitution should protect the rights of U.S. citizens against the illegal actions of U.S. government no matter where they happen to be.

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