As Expected, CIA Continues to Withhold Key Documents
As Spencer noted, in responding to a federal judge’s order to turn over another batch of documents including President George W. Bush’s authorization of CIA secret prisons, and records of investigations into the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, the Department of Justice instead opted to file a document yesterday explaining why it’s actually not going to turn any of that stuff over.
In its document, the government argues that these documents are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act because they would reveal “intelligence sources and methods,” notwithstanding that the Obama administration has said it’s no longer using those abusive methods.
In that regard, it’s much like the Justice Department’s argument that courts must dismiss lawsuits that claim the government engaged in torture or warrantless wiretapping, because they would reveal “state secrets” — even though, supposedly, the government doesn’t do those secretive things anymore.
Advocates for accountability, at least, might find a silver lining here. The government’s insistence on keeping the evidence secret would seem to provide a strong argument for why Congress and Attorney General Eric Holder ought to conduct their own aggressive investigation.