From London daily The Morning Star:
Wednesday 02 September 2009
by Tom Mellen
US civil rights campaigners called on Tuesday for Washington to release all documents detailing CIA abuse of “black site” detainees after the spy agency failed to turn over new papers by a court-set deadline.
Last week, a long-secret report released in response to two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) shed new light on CIA torture at overseas detention camps.
Agency chiefs faced a Monday deadline to turn over more papers.
But they failed to do so, telling the federal judge in charge of the case the case that, if dozens of remaining documents are made public, it would “degrade the government’s ability to effectively question terrorist detainees and elicit information necessary to protect the American people.”
ACLU National Security Project director Jameel Jaffer observed that the CIA justification for withholding the documents “is entirely incompatible with the Obama administration’s stated commitment to ending torture and restoring governmental transparency.
“On the one hand, President Obama has publicly recognised that torture undermines the rule of law and America’s standing in the world, but on the other, the CIA continues to argue in court that it cannot disclose information about its torture techniques.”
Mr Jaffer said that the CIA arguments “are utterly disconnected from the Obama administration’s stated positions.”
In its filing, the CIA also argued that the information available to the public about the torture programme should be limited to its “historical context and legal underpinnings.”
However, the government has already released several documents that provide more than abstract detail about the interrogations.
ACLU National Security Project legal expert Alex Abdo said: “Given the vast amount of evidence that the US torture programme was widespread and systemic, it’s disappointing that the government continues to withhold these vital documents that would fill in the remaining gaps in the public record.”
Mr Abdo said that the Obama administration has to “fulfil its commitment to transparency.”
See also here.
CIA Withholding 48 Pages of Photos: here.
In over 300 pages crammed full of facts, figures, incriminating and self-incriminating quotes, Swanson’s Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union makes the following case: Bush-Cheney and their cohorts are guilty of a power grab which has inflicted near mortal wounds on the Constitution; Obama has not done nearly enough to repair the damage; Congress has collapsed, and even the Supreme Court could use some fixing up: here.
CIA doctors face human experimentation claims: here.
Physicians for Human Rights charges in a new report that medical professionals attached to the CIA participated in the torture of “terror suspects” and used prisoners as human research subjects: here.
AMNESTY declared on Wednesday that US President Barack Obama must do more to shake off the legacy of torture, impunity and unlawful detention he inherited from the previous US administration: here.
Shocking evidence has emerged that CIA medical personnel were centrally involved in torture at US detention sites such as Guantanamo: here.