The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

James Freedland, (646) 785-1894 or (212) 549-2666;

Judge Sets Hearing on Obama Administration's Request to Delay Lawsuit Over Release of Torture Memos

Move Comes in Long-Running ACLU Case Seeking Documents Related to Prisoner Abuse


federal judge today called a hearing to examine the Obama
administration's request for a 90-day delay of an American Civil
Liberties Union lawsuit concerning public access to controversial
Bush-era legal memos. The memos, written by the Justice Department's
Office of Legal Counsel, supplied the basis for the Bush
administration's torture and rendition programs. The hearing is
scheduled for February 18 at 3:00 p.m. in New York.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

"The Obama administration deserves
credit for its disavowal of torture and for the commitment it has made
to transparency, but the public has waited long enough for the
disclosure of these memos. These memos supplied the legal basis for the
Bush administration's torture and rendition programs; they are crucial
to the historical record. The Obama administration wants to put the
litigation on hold for months, but delay is not costless. There is a
public debate taking place right now about the role of the CIA going
forward and about accountability for the abuses of the last eight
years. The immediate release of the memos would allow the public to
participate more meaningfully in that debate. While we applaud the
administration for its promise of transparency, it's now time to make
good on that promise."

The government's request for a 90-day extension is available at:

The ACLU's letter in opposition to the delay is available at:

The documents received in the ACLU's Freedom of Information litigation are online at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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