Federal Judge Orders Bush Administration to Release Torture Documents

From Holden:

Yesterday I reported that the American Civil Liberties Union , the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights , Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace were going to federal court seeking to force the Bush administration to comply with Freeedom of Information Act requests submitted by the groups in October 2003 and May 2004.

The FOIA requests had been filed with the CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department, and the State Department and sought:

[R]ecords of the abuse or torture of detainees in US custody and any records of investigations into those deaths.


The FOIA also requested all records regarding policies that govern the interrogation of detainees in US custody and the sending of detainees to other countries known to use torture, a process known as “rendition”.

In addition, the groups requested records describing any measures taken by the administration to address concerns expressed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The Bush administration never complied with either request.

Yesterday, the good guys won:

The American government has less than two weeks to start giving civil rights groups documents about the torture of prisoners held by United States forces at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities, a federal judge ordered on Thursday.

US. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein expressed impatience with the government and said prosecutors must start handing over certain papers identified by the American Civil Liberties Union by August 23 unless they can show the documents cannot be found or they are subject to certain exemptions.