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House Passes FOIA Amendment to Hide Abuse Photos

Notwithstanding Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-N.Y.) impassioned plea, the House this afternoon passed that amendment to alter the Freedom of Information Act and hide detainee abuse photos — and to keep the question of what’s secret and what’s not away from the courts.

Here’s what Jameel Jaffer, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project, which has been fighting for release of those photos, had to say about the vote:

We are deeply disappointed that the House voted to give the Defense Department the authority to hide evidence of its own misconduct, and we hope the Senate will not follow suit. If this bill does become law, the Secretary of Defense should not invoke it. Instead, Secretary Gates should be guided by the importance of transparency to the democratic process, the extraordinary importance of these photos to the ongoing debate about the treatment of prisoners and the likelihood that the suppression of these photos will ultimately be far more damaging to national security than their disclosure would be. The last administration’s decision to endorse torture undermined the United States’ moral authority and compromised its security. The failure of the current administration to fully confront the abuses of the last administration will only compound these harms.

You can find the roll call here.

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