May 27, 2015

Judge orders critical information kept secret

All Gov - A federal judge has thwarted an attempt to force the release of the Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency torture program.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s full report on the CIA interrogation program. The executive summary of the report was previously made public, albeit with numerous redactions.

But U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg rejected the ACLU’s request, ruling the report remains a congressional record and thus isn’t subject to the FOIA. When Congress created FOIA in 1966, it made sure to exempt the legislative branch from its provisions.

Boasberg, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, appears to be the go-to judge if you don’t want something released to the public. Judicial Watch filed an FOIA request in 2011 to force the release of images of Osama Bin Laden’s death and burial, but Boasberg ruledagainst the group. “A picture may be worth a thousand words. And perhaps moving pictures bear an even higher value. Yet, in this case, verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama Bin Laden will have to suffice, for this Court will not order the release of anything more,” Boasberg wrote to begin his decision.

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