Federal Judge Rules That CIA Can Cover Up Torture

Press release from the ACLU, via Common Dreams:

NEW YORK – July 15 – A federal judge today ruled that the government can withhold information from the public about intelligence sources and methods, even if those sources and methods were illegal. The ruling came in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation filed by the American Civil Liberties Union for Justice Department memos that authorized torture, and for records relating to the contents of destroyed videotapes depicting the brutal interrogation of detainees at CIA black sites.

The government continues to withhold key information, such as the names of detainees who were subjected to the abusive interrogation methods as well as information about the application of the interrogation techniques. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today ruled that the government can continue to suppress evidence of its illegal program.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU:

“We are very dismayed by today’s ruling, which invests the CIA with sweeping authority to conceal evidence of its own illegal conduct. There is no question that the CIA has authority under the law to withhold information relating to ‘intelligence sources and methods.’ But while this authority is broad, it is not unlimited, and it certainly should not be converted into a license to suppress evidence of criminal activity. Unfortunately, that is precisely what today’s ruling threatens to do. The CIA should not be permitted to unilaterally determine whether evidence of its own criminal conduct can be hidden from the
public.”

Judge Hellerstein’s ruling is available online at: www.aclu.org/national-security/aclu-v-dod-district-court-order-allowing-suppression-information-about-intelligenc

More information about the ACLU’s FOIA litigation is available online at: www.aclu.org/accountability/

, , ,

  • Hadrian999

    thinking this would go any other way is childish.
    hopefully it will wake up a few more people that the federal government aren't the white hats anymore

  • Haystack

    I could possibly understand suppressing “sources,” but not “methods.”

    Clearly the argument being used here is that, if the truth were revealed, it might jeopardize national security by providing propaganda fodder to the enemy. The problem what that line of reasoning is that it allows the go'vt to cover up *any* misdeed it commits, which effectively renders the FoIA useless.

    The solution isn't to impose more secrecy upon our dirty laundry, but to actually do the right thing. You know, actually *be* good instead of just trying convince the world that you are good.

    • Hadrian999

      one argument against revealing methods is that an enemy organization could train to counter like we train
      government and military personnel who may be captured to resist known tactics like the S.E.R.E. does.
      there could be some panel set up to review the legality of the methods but odds our that it would either be corrupted of ignored all together like current congressional oversight is now.

      in a war like this you don't win with more force or being the most brutal, you have to win on moral authority
      and showing that you are the best side to follow, we aren't doing that, we are trying to wage a battle for hearts and minds like it's a cheesy action movie.

      • Haystack

        The problem is that “hearts and minds” is just a strategy to help us win, and the rest of the world can see that. Whenever we talk about Iraq or Afghanistan, the discussion is framed in terms of US interests. We may believe that what we're doing is “good for them,” but we're not exactly seeking their input, or demonstrating any heartfelt concern for them as people. It's all so transparently phony, and if you suggest that we should actually practice the ideals we say we stand for, you're treated like a naive little flower child.

        • Hadrian999

          that is why i don't work for them anymore, it's a con from top to bottom.
          and if i'm gonna have a guilty conscience the pay would have to be much better lol

  • Andrew

    Laws are for little people.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, democracy in the land of the free.

  • oman28

    Ah, democracy in the land of the free.

21