Freedom of Information
Judge to Review CIA Interrogation Documents, Hear ACLU Contempt Motion
Posted Jan 17, 2008 7:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge in New York has agreed to privately review secret documents about the CIA’s interrogation program in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein said he would review the material to determine whether it should be released under the Freedom of Information Act, ACLU spokeswoman Rachel Myers told the Washington Post.
Hellerstein also scheduled a hearing for next Wednesday to consider the ACLU’s request to hold the CIA in contempt (PDF) for destroying two videotapes of harsh interrogations, the story says. The government said in court papers released last Friday that it had no duty to preserve the tapes, the Associated Press reports. At the very least, the government argued, Hellerstein should delay a ruling until the Justice Department completes its investigation of the tape destruction.
An ACLU press release says it is seeking materials that include Office of Legal Counsel memos (PDF) authorizing harsh interrogation methods and videotapes believed to depict government teams abusing Guantanamo prisoners.