The judges ruled 2-to-1 that two US citizens can bring a civil suit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for their alleged torture while they were held in a US military prison in Iraq in 2006.
The indefinite hold on six planned executions of members of Saddam Hussein's regime could prevent a widening of political and sectarian rifts at a precarious time in Iraq.
The US today handed over Camp Cropper, its last detention facility in Iraq. Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon describes how former regime officials have lived out their days watching BBC Arabic Television and growing vegetables.
Today the US transferred to Iraq almost all the prisoners it has held in custody for seven years, including Tariq Aziz and other officials in Saddam Hussein's regime that were featured in a "most wanted" deck-of-cards. But some former officials remain in limbo – waiting to be tried in a special court.
As the US speeds the transfer of detainees in its custody, many appear headed into a notoriously violent system. Inmates at Abu Ghraib rioted Thursday and Friday.
Some 15,000 in custody may be in limbo when UN rules that govern Iraq lapse in December.
The new facility, which will hold up to 1,100 detainees, is aimed at replacing the controversial existing one at Bagram.