Judge Rules CIA Can Withhold Info about Illegal Methods

Monday, July 26, 2010
Judge Alvin Hellerstein

A federal judge has backed CIA efforts to conceal information about treatment of detainees, even if the suppressed records contain details about illegal activity on the part of the intelligence agency.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that he was unwilling to “second-guess the CIA Director regarding the appropriateness of any particular intelligence source or method,” while rejecting the American Civil Liberties Union’s request to obtain records related to the treatment of detainees, those who died in U.S. custody and the names of anyone kidnapped and sent to secret prisons.
ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said his organization was “dismayed” by Hellerstein’s decision, which could be construed as giving the CIA “a license to suppress evidence of criminal activity.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Judge Rejects Release of CIA Materials to ACLU (by Jonathan Perlow, Courthouse News Service)
ACLU v. Department of Defense (U.S. District Court, Southern New York) (pdf)


Garrick S. 14 years ago
It's time for the Congress to do it's "check and balance" thing here. Apparently the CIA has judicially sanctioned unchecked power, so long as it uses the "war on terror" rational. We could be living in Saddam's Iraq or Stalin's USSR pretty soon at this rate.
brian 14 years ago
Yep... when reporting crime becomes a crime you know that you have arrived in George's 1984. The justice system is broke.
Bubba 14 years ago
I guess its OK to break every known law, as long as you are the government. But all of you plebs and serfs better toe the line or well show up with a SWAT team and kill your dog, tazer your granny and leave you in a pool of blood in front of your children.
Just_Tim 14 years ago
Yep! Our "inactivist" judges don't want to do their job of judging whether something is illegal. (It's allowed if WE do it mentality.) This follows closely behind the decision by our "activist" judges that wealthy, international corporations are "people" too. And we wouldn't want to restrict their limited right of free speech (or bribing our politicians by unlimited campaign advertising). I'm sad to say, our republic may have "run its course." It certainly has been a durable form of "government by the people," lasting well over 200 years, but it's days seem limited before it's gone entirely. Of course, the "powers that be" will claim we have an unchanged republic.
enorceht 14 years ago
i'm sure the lawyers for organized crime are coming up with ways that they could use this ruling as a legal precedent to work to their advantage
Tom 14 years ago
Not "going to second guess the CIA Director"? When it is obvious to the world that the CIA tortures, uses "extraordinary rendition" (for English speakers that means sending agents into countries like Italy and kidnapping their citizens so they can be tortured), destroys evidence of its crimes, and lies to the world about it. Isn't "second guessing" part of his job?
ROBinDALLAS 14 years ago
What a tool Hellerstein is. He isn't going to second guess the director???? The director may have a conflict of interest don't you think? God damn this owned thug of a judge.
Not Saying 14 years ago
The CIA acts with it's own authority like a separate 4th branch of government, and this judge just ruled that activities of the CIA 4th branch of government will not be accountable to the public, unlike the other three branches. The CIA only tells Congress what it wants to tell Congress, since we sometimes only find out what the CIA did after Congressional hearings. Do you feel safer now?
Archie1954 14 years ago
Where do they find these judges? They couldn't do worst looking in a garbage can somewhere. This particular judge isn't the least bit interested in providing justice in his courtroom. He would prefer to sit on his weasely hands and not "second guess" the CIA. What a hypocritical piece of work he is.
Edward 14 years ago
So now what? Is this like "Credit Daupnine" on the series Alias, or is undercutting the Office of the President a national passtime?

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