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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Pentagon, DOJ Used State Secrets Privilege|As Cover for Anti-Semitism, Engineer Says

DETROIT (CN) - The anti-Semitic Department of Defense defamed Daniel Tenenbaum, a civilian mechanical engineer working for the Army, by accusing him of spying for Israel, because he is Jewish, Tenenbaum and his wife claim in Federal Court.

The Tenenbaums first sued in 1998, claiming "they were wrongly subjected to an extensive, public criminal investigation by the FBI because the instigating defendants had falsely accused Tenenbaum of being an Israeli spy on the sole basis that Tenenbaum in Jewish," according to the complaint. (The "instigating defendants" are the Army, the Defense Security Service, John Simonini, Albert Snyder, Mark Yourchok, Robert Riley: see list of defendants at end of story.)

"Tenenbaum was vilified throughout the media as a spy and traitor because of the instigating defendants' false accusations, and the FBI and the DOJ tellingly closed the investigation after confirming that there was no evidence to support such false accusations.

"During the discovery process in the action, the instigating defendants' sworn deposition testimony and records confirmed that the instigating defendants had no plausible defense to the Tenenbaums' claims since the sole basis and motivation for the instigating defendants' false accusations was religious discrimination/anti-Semitism because Tenenbaum in Jewish.

"To avoid losing at trial and facing a substantial judgments in the Tenenbaums' favor, and to wrongfully deprives the Tenenbaums' of full and fair access to the court in order to pursue their claims, the instigating defendants and defendant Fiore asserted the state secrets privilege contending that their defense to the Tenenbaums' claims somehow required the use of state secret information which could not be presented in a public trial. Defendants Ashcroft and Wolfowitz provided sealed affidavits (the 'Sealed Affidavits'), which sealed portions and/or materials supposedly supporting the assertion of the state secrets privilege. [Sic]

"The Tenenbaums were never afforded the opportunity to review the sealed portions of the sealed affidavits in order to respond thereto.

"The action was dismissed by the district court on the basis of the state secrets privilege assertion, and the Tenenbaums were therefore deprived of the right to pursue their claims in court. The Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit subsequently affirmed the dismissal of the action on the basis of the state secrets privilege assertion, and the Supreme Court declined to grant a writ of certiorari.

"On March 14, 2006, Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, requested that the OIG DoD open an investigation into the Tenenbaums' case.

"On July 13, 2008, the OIG DoD issued a report confirming that Tenenbaum was in fact the victim of religious discrimination. The report also confirmed that no evidence existed against Tenenbaum such that the assertion of state secrets privilege was frivolous and constituted a flagrant abuse of power and obstruction of justice in improperly denying the Tenenbaums of access to the courts in order to pursue their claims.

"Based upon the OIG Dod report, the Tenenbaums now bring the instant action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 since they were wrongfully deprived of their right to pursue the action."

The Tenenbaums sued the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Defense Security Service fka Defense Investigative Service, U.S. Department of Justice, (former Attorney General) John Ashcroft, (former Deputy Secretary of Defense) Paul Wolfowitz, (former litigation division chief for the Army and later general counsel for the Pentagon inspector general) Uldric Fiore, (former director of intelligence and counterintelligence for the Army's Tank Automotive Armaments Command) John Simonini, and (Defense Security Service Agents) Albert Snyder, Mark Yourchok, and Robert Riley.

They seek punitive damages for civil rights violations. They are represented by Morganroth & Morganroth of Southfield, Mich.

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