Torture appeal denied
The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen who claims the CIA had him abducted and sent to Afghanistan, where he was tortured. The court upheld a lower court’s ruling that al-Masri’s case could not proceed without compromising national security. Al-Masri alleges he was seized in Macedonia in late 2003 on suspicion of being a terrorist and handed over to the CIA, which flew him to an Afghan prison. He claims he was repeatedly beaten until his release in 2004. The Supreme Court’s decision cited a 1953 ruling that protects state secrets from being disclosed in open court.
Army to speed expansion
Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the U.S. Army to grow to 547,000 active personnel by 2010, two years sooner than was previously planned. Its current head count is 512,000. The Army has come under severe strain while fighting two wars simultaneously, with many soldiers being deployed for multiple tours of combat duty. “Meeting this target will not be easy,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr.