In a shocking blow to democracy a federal judge has ruled the CIA can keep secret nearly 7,000 pages of a Senate report on its interrogation methods, as well as an internal agency review concerning the conduct of its officers.
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg concluded that the 6,963-page report compiled by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the related “Panetta review,” are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
Boasberg stated that the Senate committee report remained a document under congressional control, and Congress made sure to exempt itself from FOIA.
“Congress has undoubted authority to keep its records secret, authority rooted in the Constitution, longstanding practice, and current congressional rules,” Boasberg stated.
Despite the fact that the Senate intelligence panel forwarded a copy of the full report to the CIA, Boasberg added, “should not be readily interpreted to suggest more wholesale abdication of control.”
Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, strongly objected to the ruling.
“The direct, contemporaneous evidence shows that the full torture report is subject to the FOIA because Congress sent it to the executive branch with instructions that it be broadly used to ensure torture never happens again,” Shamsi said. “The Senate’s landmark investigation into a dark period in our nation’s history should not stay behind closed government doors, but needs to see the light of day.”
The Senate committee released a summary of the report last December, following years of back-and-forth, but refused to disclose the full contents to the American people at the request of the CIA.
As we reported previously, the CIA is fearful details of their torture activities will cause a public outcry which could end the agency. They even went so far as to destroy tapes of the evidence yet, like all spy agencies, went free of punishment for their actions.
The cost to taxpayers of the report they will not see? $40 million.
The finding shows the politicians and judges have been corrupted by the intelligence community and are deeply fearful of retribution of they act against either the CIA or the more powerful NSA.
Despite numerous public criminal acts by both agencies none have been held to account, likely because they maintain a detailed dossier on every politician, judge, civil servant and military leader to ensure they get what they want and nobody interferes with their secret information gathering activities.