In a decision derided by the ACLU as “disappointing,” a federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the administration of President Barack Obama cannot be compelled by the court to hand over the full Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.
With a lawsuit citing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the ACLU had sought to force the release of the full report, which totals nearly 7,000 pages.
The roughly 500-page, heavily redacted executive summary of the report was released last year. But the full inquiry, which many say offers an important window into a shameful chapter of U.S. history, remains concealed from the public.
U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg, who was appointed by Obama, claimed in the ruling that the document is immune from FOIA laws as it belongs to Congress.
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“At the end of the day, the ACLU asks the Court to interject itself into a high-profile conversation that has been carried out in a thoughtful and careful way by the other two branches of government,” wrote the judge.
ACLU National Security Project director Hina Shamsi immediately condemned the decision as keeping “the American public from learning the whole truth about CIA torture.”
“The direct, contemporaneous evidence shows that the full torture report is subject to the FOIA because Congress sent it to the executive branch with instructions that it be broadly used to ensure torture never happens again,” said Shamsi in a statement emailed to Common Dreams. “The Senate’s landmark investigation into a dark period in our nation’s history should not stay behind closed government doors, but needs to see the light of day. We’re now considering our options on what to do next.”
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