Federal Court Allows Bush Administration to Withhold Records Detailing Torture and Abuse of Guantánamo Prisoners
WASHINGTON - A
federal judge today allowed the Bush administration to withhold
unredacted transcripts in which 14 prisoners now held at Guantánamo Bay
describe abuse and torture they endured in CIA custody. The decision
comes in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed in March to
enforce a Freedom of Information Act request for records from Combatant
Status Review Tribunals that determine if prisoners held by the Defense
Department at Guantánamo qualify as "enemy combatants."
The following can be attributed to Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project:
"This decision allows the Bush
administration to continue its illegal cover-up of its systemic torture
polices. The government has suppressed these detainees' allegations of
brutal torture not to protect any legitimate national security
interests, but to protect itself from criticism and liability. It is
unlawful for the government to withhold information on these grounds."
Attorneys in this case are Wizner
and Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU National Security Project, Judy
Rabinovitz and Amrit Singh of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and
Arthur B. Spitzer of the ACLU of the National Capital Area.
The ACLU's legal complaint can be found at: www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/