Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lawsuit seeks CIA records for Pelosi briefings

From Judicial Watch - July 22, 2009:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced that it filed yesterday a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the CIA to obtain documents related to congressional briefings on "enhanced interrogation techniques" (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency, Case: 1:09-cv-01352).

Judicial Watch seeks documents detailing CIA briefings involving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and/or her staff. Judicial Watch filed its original FOIA request with the Central Intelligence Agency on May 15...

On June 23, the CIA notified Judicial Watch that it would not be able to respond to the FOIA request within the mandated 20 working days but failed to indicate when a response would be forthcoming. The CIA suggested it would respond "as soon as we can."

In April 2009 Speaker Pelosi admitted she was briefed on the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques," including waterboarding, but said that the CIA did not tell her that the techniques had already been used. The CIA contradicted Pelosi's claim, pointing to a briefing they held with the speaker on September 4, 2002 and a subsequent briefing to her top staffer.

In response to the controversy, Speaker Pelosi stated the CIA was lying about the briefings and "mislead(s) Congress all the time." Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request to get to the truth in the matter.

"I suspect the Obama administration is stonewalling the release of these documents to protect Speaker Pelosi from further embarrassment," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton...

Read in full.

On July 14, Judicial Watch filed a separate FOIA lawsuit against the CIA to obtain records from the Office of former Vice President Cheney related to the results of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

The complaint reads as follows - excerpt:
On March 31, 2009, Vice President Cheney personally issued a request with the National Archives Presidential Libraries section for declassification review of... two specific documents. The Archives then passed on the request to the CIA for review on April 8, 2009. These documents reportedly discuss the effectiveness of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs).

In March, President Obama overruled objections from national security officials and released documents detailing the government's enhanced interrogation program of terrorists (the so-called "torture" memos). However, President Obama withheld information detailing the results of this program, including alleged terrorist plots that the program prevented. It is these documents that Judicial Watch, through this new FOIA lawsuit, seeks to obtain...

"President Obama cherry-picked documents to release on the enhanced interrogation program," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the CIA shows how President Obama continues to stonewall and has yet to tell the full truth to the American people about whether the terrorist interrogation program saved American lives by preventing terrorist attacks."...

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