Holder: Administration to Issue New ‘State Secrets’ Policy Within Days
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the Justice Department will soon issue its opinion and recommendations regarding the controversial use of the “state secrets” privilege, which the government has been using to conceal information in about 20 pending federal cases.
In three particular cases — Jewel v. NSA, Al Haramain v. Obama, and Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan — the administration has asked courts to dismiss the cases on the grounds that allowing them to go forward would reveal “state secrets.”
Responding to the outcry that the administration is abusing the privilege, the Senate is set to take up legislation, the State Secrets Protection Act of 2009, that would limit the executive’s ability to dismiss cases based on the privilege. Holder suggested that the Obama administration’s view of the matter will be different than the Senate’s, and will eliminate the need for the legislation altogether.
He promised to produce that new policy publicly “in a matter of days.”