Donald Vance Files Suit Against Donald Rumsfeld

On Monday, December 18, 2006, Donald Vance, a 29 year-old former member of the United States Navy, and a former supervisor of security personnel for the Sandi Group and later Shield Group Security (SGS) in Iraq, filed suit against Donald Rumsfeld in the Northern District of Illinois. In his suit, Vance alleges that while employed by SGS in Iraq he observed suspicious payments by SGS agents to Iraqi Sheikhs and reported this activity to the FBI, in particular, to FBI agent Travis Carlisle in Chicago. Vance alleges that he was subsequently removed from the SGS compound and then taken to the US Embassy, then to Camp Prosperity and later to Camp Cropper which Vance alleges houses "high-value" detainees. Vance alleges he was detained for almost 100 days purely for purposes of conducting months of abusive interrogations. Vance alleges he was detained without due process of law, was never charged with a crime, was never told why he was being detained, was never given the opportunity to obtain a lawyer, was never given the opportunity to challenge his detention, and not even his family was told of his detention. Vance alleges that while detained his detention and interrogation were tantamount to torture in that he was exposed to intolerable cold and continuous artificial light, he was placed in solitary confinement, he was subjected to blarring music, he was awoken by startling if he fell asleep, he was subjected to blindfolding and "hooding" and deprived of food and water. Vance alleges that defendant Donald Rumsfeld was personally responsible for developing, authorizing, supervising and implementing the policies and practices of arrest, detention, treatment, and interrogation of detainees in Iraq. Vance alleges that Rumsfeld's policies and directives are inconsistent with fundamental Constitutional and human rights and that "Defendant Rumsfeld is not entitled to any form of official immunity for his knowing decisions to break with the laws protecting American citizens and international treaties on human rights." Vance's complaint contains the following ten counts: false arrest (I), unlawful detention (II), unlawful search and seizure (III), right to counsel in interrogations - coerced statements (IV), denial of Sixth Amendment right to counsel (V), denial of right to confront adverse witnesses (VI), denial of right to present witnesses and evidence, and to have exculpatory evidence disclosed (VII), conditions of detention (VIII), denial of necessary medical care (IX) and denial of property without due process (X). Vance's suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs and attorneys' fees. Vance's suit has been assigned to the Honorable Milton I. Shadur. Vance is represented by attorneys Michael Kanovitz and Jon Loevy of the law firm of Loevy & Loevy.
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Shelley - January 9, 2007 9:00 AM

Has this case been in session, what's the outcome been so far? How can I find it?

Andy Hale - January 9, 2007 1:22 PM

The case was just recently filed in the Northern District of Illinois and was assigned to Judge Shadur. I don't have a case number yet, but will try and get one. You may be able to get a copy of the complaint from the Northern District of Illinois docket sheet.

susan white - February 28, 2007 8:33 PM

I'm interested in knowing the status of this case. Can someone help?

Andy Hale - March 8, 2007 11:34 AM

My understanding is that DOJ attorney James Whitman has appeared for the United States. No one has appeared for Donald Rumsfeld yet. I think Rumsfeld has until mid-March to file an attorney appearance.

David Roknich - April 9, 2007 4:02 PM

Court documents and story:

The case number is 06 C 6964, and there has been quite a bit of action already.

On February 16, 2007, I reported:

"An amended complaint was filed on Monday in the Northern District of Illinois. It now includes the USA and Unidentified Agents, and in its 69 pages it unravels an intrigue involving FBI agents, government whistleblowers, and the high-living contractors who evaded them. The complaint alleges that Vance and Ertel were detained because it was suspected that they knew too much -but because of the mechanism, they don't know who decided to detain them."

Gordon Soderberg - July 18, 2007 6:04 PM

Please forward my contact info to Donald Vance. I'm interested in talking to him for a documentary I'm doing about veterans and the treatment they receive from their government after service. I am a veteran from the US Navy myself. Thank you.

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