The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rachel Myers (212) 549-2689 or 2666;

Judge Rules CIA Can Suppress Information About Torture Tapes and Memos

Ruling Allows CIA to Conceal Evidence of Its Own Illegal Conduct, Says ACLU


federal judge today ruled that the government can withhold information
from the public about intelligence sources and methods, even if those
sources and methods were illegal. The ruling came in response to Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA) litigation filed by the American Civil
Liberties Union for Justice Department memos that authorized torture,
and for records relating to the contents of destroyed videotapes
depicting the brutal interrogation of detainees at CIA black sites.

The government continues to withhold key information, such as the names
of detainees who were subjected to the abusive interrogation methods as
well as information about the application of the interrogation
techniques. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York today ruled that the government can
continue to suppress evidence of its illegal program.

The following can be attributed to
Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU:

"We are very dismayed by today's ruling, which invests the CIA with
sweeping authority to conceal evidence of its own illegal conduct. There
is no question that the CIA has authority under the law to withhold
information relating to 'intelligence sources and methods.' But while
this authority is broad, it is not unlimited, and it certainly should
not be converted into a license to suppress evidence of criminal
activity. Unfortunately, that is precisely what today's ruling threatens
to do. The CIA should not be permitted to unilaterally determine
whether evidence of its own criminal conduct can be hidden from the

Judge Hellerstein's ruling is available online at:

More information about the ACLU's FOIA litigation is available online

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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