[JURIST] The US government is delaying the release of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] interrogation report by another week, allowing for officials to determine what information to release. The special report on counter-terrorism and interrogation practices is expected to be released pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] lawsuit [complaint, PDF] brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website]. The government told the ACLU on Friday that it will need more time [ACLU press release] to decide what additional information will be disclosed beyond that which was available in the heavily-redacted version [report, PDF] released last year. The report discusses interrogation techniques such as waterboarding [JURIST news archive], Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] legal analysis, and other issues relating to detainment and interrogation. ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh discussed the organization's reaction to the delay:
We are disappointed by the delay in the disclosure of this report which contains critical information about the illegality and ineffectiveness of the CIA's interrogation program. We can only hope that this delay is a sign that the forces of transparency within the Obama administration are winning over the forces of secrecy and that the report will ultimately be released with minimal redactions. The CIA should not be permitted to use national security as a pretext for suppressing evidence of its own unlawful conduct. The American people have a right to know the full truth about the torture program that was authorized in their name.US attorney Lev Dassin responded [letter, PDF] to Singh, discussing the government's plans and setting a date for release:
Given the need for inter-agency review of the re-processed document, however, we will need additional time to make a final determination as to what additional information, if any, may be disclosed from the report. We intend to complete the re-processing of the document, and to produce any additional information that may disclosed, by June 26, 2009.The delay of the report follows the recent controversy of other documents and materials requested by the ACLU under the FOIA. Last week, the US Senate [official website] voted unanimously to approve legislation [S 1100 materials] that seeks to prohibit the release of photos of alleged detainee abuse [JURIST news report]. The bill would carve out an exception in the FOIA for certain photographs when such disclosure would endanger US personnel. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled that the US government can continue to withhold photos [JURIST report] of alleged detainee abuse while it awaits a response from the US Supreme Court [official website]. The appellate-level decision followed a recent Supreme Court order [JURIST report] granting the government a 30-day extension to appeal a ruling mandating the release of the controversial photos, setting the new deadline to July 9.