US court rules to keep classified ‘torture’ documents secret

A court has blocked an effort by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to force the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to release secret records about its torture program.

“To be sure, [the ACLU] – and the public – may well ultimately gain access to the document it seeks. But it is not for the court to expedite that process,” Judge James Boasberg from the US District Court of the District of Columbia announced on Wednesday.

The ACLU was trying to access a Senate report on the CIA torture program.

In December 2014, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released a drastically redacted summary of its voluminous report on the CIA’s torture program during the George W. Bush administration. The full, 6,900-page version remains classified.

“They will stay secret,” Boasberg stated. “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.”

The ACLU is also seeking the so-called “Panetta Review” set of documents which are exempt from laws that allow them to be released to the public, because they apparently might damage national security. They are called internal “deliberative” negotiations and are protected by additional laws from being released.

The CIA’s interrogation of suspected terrorists was far more brutal than the spy agency had disclosed, according to the Senate report.

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