‘Holy Hell’ Breaks Lose Over Possible Disclosure of Torture Memos
Posted Apr 3, 2009 1:02 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
U.S. security officials are working to overturn a decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to release three 2005 Justice Department memos approving harsh interrogation techniques.
National security aide John Brennan is leading the effort to block disclosure of the documents, Newsweek reports. "Holy hell has broken loose over this," one senior administration official told the magazine.
White House counsel Greg Craig had already approved disclosure of the memos, but release was delayed after Brennan and CIA Director Leon Panetta became involved. Now it is likely President Obama will have to make the final decision, the story says.
The 2005 memos were written under the leadership of Steven Bradbury, chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. The memos, along with a 2002 memo written by former Justice lawyer John Yoo, are the subject of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The government has sought an additional two-week delay to give it more time to respond to the ACLU. The story says the internal debate over the memos explains the delay request.