BREAKING: Obama Administration Wants CIA Torture Report Withheld Until August 31
Word’s coming now that the Obama administration is seeking to withhold the CIA’s 2004 inspector-general report on the implementation of its former “enhanced interrogation regime” until August 31. The ACLU, which had an agreement with the administration to declassify the report as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, is going to challenge the administration’s efforts. More soon.
Update: Just got a hold of the court documents. Check them out after the jump.
The Justice Department argues that the volume of material it needs to go through in the CIA’s 2004 inspector general report is just too great to meet any pre-August 31 timetable. Not only is the IG report itself 200 pages, that’s just one of 319 documents under review as part of the case.
The ACLU replies that the CIA and the Justice Department have already missed three deadlines for the agreed-upon disclosure, and lawyer Amrit Singh writes that she’s “disturbed by the clear trend emerging in the government’s repeated delays in disclosure of documents critical to a complete understanding of the CIA’s interrogation program.” She says that instead of delaying, Judge Alvin Hellerstein should order the “expediting the reprocessing and release of all CIA documents at issue.”
Update 2: This is a statement from ACLU national security chief Jameel Jaffer:
The CIA has already had more than five months to review the inspector general’s report, and the report is only about two hundred pages long. We’re increasingly troubled that the Obama administration is suppressing documents that would provide more evidence that the CIA’s interrogation program was both ineffective and illegal. President Obama should not allow the CIA to determine whether evidence of its own unlawful conduct should be made available to the public. The public has a right to know what took place in the CIA’s secret prisons and on whose authority.
Here’s the Department of Justice letter:
And here’s the ACLU’s letter in response: