Rights Groups Urge Congress Not to Block Disclosure of Details About CIA Rendition, Secret Detention, and Torture
Express Concerns about Congressional Involvement in FOIA Case against CIA
NEW YORK and WASHINGTON - Congress should not prevent disclosure of its knowledge and
oversight of the CIA's use of rendition, secret detention, and torture,
three leading human rights groups urged today. The groups - Amnesty
International USA (AIUSA), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR),
and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at
NYU School of Law - expressed concern after a federal court granted the
government more time to consult with Congress about CIA records sought
in the groups' Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation.
"These records purport to describe the CIA's notifications and
briefings to Congress about U.S. rendition, secret detention, and
torture," stated CCR attorney, Gitanjali Gutierrez,
speaking on behalf of the groups. "Congress should promote full
disclosure of information about whether or not it exercised appropriate
oversight authority and its involvement with torture and secret
prisons. The American public deserves to know whether political leaders
were keeping the CIA in check or actually encouraging the agency's
The court has granted the government more time to consult with Congress
about the ten records, a process the government describes as being
"unexpectedly complex." The records include 26 pages of charts related
to prior congressional notifications and briefings, summaries of
briefings to and closed hearings before Congress, and memoranda
describing meetings of senior officials.
The 2007 lawsuit is based on administrative FOIA requests dating
back to 2004 filed by AIUSA, CCR, and CHRJG with several U.S.
government agencies - including the CIA, the Department of Defense
(DOD), the Department of State (DOS), the Department of Justice, and
the Department of Homeland Security - seeking records about secret
detention, "enhanced" interrogation, and rendition. Morrison &
Foerster LLP serves as co-counsel in the case.
To see the most recent documents released from the CIA, DOD, and DOS,
as well as the prior filings and other documents previously released
through this litigation, visit CCR's Freedom of Information Act page at
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