Chipping Away at the Torture Cover-Up

From Holden:

The ACLU notches another victory in federal court.

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the CIA to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and turn over to watchdog groups records concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq.


“Congress has set the laws, and it is the duty of executive agencies to comply with them,” U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein wrote.

It was the second time in six months that the judge suggested the government was impeding the American Civil Liberties Union’s quest to monitor government actions in the war on terrorism.


The CIA had claimed a provision in the Freedom of Information Act law allowed it to retain files pertaining to national security issues or state secrets.

The judge said the CIA did not follow proper procedure to claim that exception, which requires a declaration by the CIA director.

ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer said he was interested in the CIA’s documents because there have been credible allegations about the agency’s role in the abuse and torture of detainees.

“What we want is to get this information into the public domain as quickly as possible,” he said. “I’m hopeful that just bringing some of this activity to light will convince the government to change its policies.”