An appeals court ruled on Friday that more than 6,000 pages of the so-calledSenate torture report cannot be made public because they consist of congressional records that are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, which only covers federal agencies.
The unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington made clear that records that Congress shares with federal agencies can’t be disclosed if there’s a “clear intent” by lawmakers “to control the document.”
The decision dealt a major blow to the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the CIA and other federal agencies that saw the full report ahead of the Senate’s release of a much shorter executive summary in 2014.
The ACLU had argued that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, then headed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), had “relinquished control” of the full report when it allowed President Barack Obama and other agencies to inspect it before the much briefer executive summary was released to the public.
But the appeals court rejected that argument, relying on a “critical” June 2009 letter Feinstein sent to the CIA that made “plain” that the Senate committee “intended to control any and all of its work product” — including the 6,963-page report that resulted from its investigation into widespread detainee abuse by the agency during the Bush administration.
The court said that the “mere transmission” of the full report to the executive branch didn’t mean the document was now discoverable under federal public-disclosure laws.
“The Committee effectively stamped its control over the Full Report when it wrote the terms of the Letter,” wrote U.S. Senior Circuit Judge Harry Edwards Friday, concluding that those terms governed the report’s lengthy process of revisions and approval by the two government branches in the years that followed.
Hina Shamsi, the ACLU lawyer who in March argued in favor of the disclosures, expressed disappointment about Friday’s ruling on Twitter and said her organization is weighing whether to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
Feinstein, through spokesman Tom Mentzer, sidestepped a question from The Huffington Post about whether she believes the full report remains in the Senate’s control and thus outside the public’s reach.
Instead, the senator suggested that only certain officials should be granted access to its contents.
“Now that this case is resolved, I again call on the administration to allow appropriate, cleared individuals to have full access to the study and for the National Archives to fulfill its obligation to preserve this document,” Feinstein said in a statement.
But in a December 2014 letter to the president — after the torture report’s executive summary was made public — Feinstein seemed to defer to the executive on what do to with the full report, counseling that it should allow “for use as broadly as appropriate” so that the abuse “is never repeated.”
“I hope you will encourage use of the full report in the future development of CIA training programs, as well as future guidelines and procedures for all Executive Branch employees, as you see fit,” Feinstein wrote at the time.
6 thoughts on “American Public Is Not Entitled To See Full Senate Torture Report, Court Rules”
OK, let me see if I understand this correctly. We elected them, we’re their bosses, but we can’t read a report about what they’ve been up to? WTF? And now, they regurgitate “the son of the 911 mastermind”. Now, according to our media, he’s being “groomed” (which appears to be the new “fun” word in the MSM) for leading the fight against Satan’s minions, those dirty, “crooked-nosed”, greasy palmed, stinking to high heaven, lowest form of life to ever walk on 2 legs, joo bastards. I say Bin Laden for President! He’s already on the payroll, what’s the difference?
Let’s kill 2 birds with 1 stone! The only way we’re going to survive this is we have to “out-maneuver” and out-smart them covertly, as they’ve deceived us since we threw some F’N sand at ’em in 1948. The result of WWII should not have resulted in our current state of affairs. The experiment is over, the vermin is spilling out of the petri dish, infecting nearby lands. This joo puke needs to be dispose of. Doused with gasoline and lit ablaze. Not until you can smell that burning flesh can you be sure that some joo cells are burning. I’m not anti-semantic, I just hate F’N joos for what they have done to us.
“But Millard, Joos are people! I say burning flesh will keep you warm here in the Northwoods! They deserve nothing less. “Throw another joo on the fire!” Hey, let’s bitch about Hitler some more! At least he had an assembly line. “Remove clothing, jewelry, shoes, and proceed to the giant oven over there.”
Oh, oh, I’m an anti-Semite!!!! Proud of it, dammit! Look at what these “crooked-nosed” son’s of bitches have done to us and, truthfully, tell me why they shouldn’t be “shot on sight.”
I beg to differ
If our tax dollars are finding any part of this or anyone’s wages on this than I feel we need to have full disclosure
It’s either that or no more of our money for anything
Oh no, no, no EOS, if you think you can claw the purse strings out of a joo bastard, well, you ain’t armwrestled neither then. It would be easier to snatch a fish out of alligator jaws than pull a penny out of a joo grip. Full disclosure, where’s that “audience laughing” sidebar!
Call me an anti-semite, but, dammit, I hate those lyin’, theivin’, connivin’, devil-worshippin’ son’s of bitches, may they all burn in hell!!!
I do enjoy your comments and read them regularly. Keep the faith, bro!
So true Millard
Sometimes I think we still operate within a Republic
Obviously the bastards have something pretty awful to hide, and it isn’t a legitimate national security secret. The locations of nuclear submarines would be an example of the latter. But revealing the methods and other details regarding the torture of helpless people would pose NO significant threat to the people of this country; it would merely expose (yet again) the barbaric nature of its Deep State government.
“Our” government has been lying, cheating, torturing, murdering, and otherwise engaging in psychopathic behavior for decades. There’s no reason to think the recent past or the present are any different.
Therefore, there’s really only one way to think about this. If they don’t cough up the complete report, then everyone should assume it contains the very worst atrocities imaginable until proven otherwise.
The late-great Edgar Steele said it best “antisemitism is a disease, you catch it from the Jews”