Friday, May 13, 2016


U.S. court blocks releasing a Senate report on CIA's torture of suspected terrorists.

The second most powerful court in the United States on Friday blocked an effort to release the full text of a Senate report detailing the CIA's torture of suspected terrorists after the 9/11 attacks.

In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the 6,000-page report "always has been a congressional document subject to the control of the Senate (Intelligence) Committee."

Congressional documents are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, a law based on which the bipartisan organization American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tried to expose the full text of the report.

According to ACLU, the Senate committee gave up its control of the report after it circulated drafts to executive branch agencies.

However, the ruling on Friday argued that a 2009 Senate letter "makes it plain that the Senate committee intended to control any and all of its work product, including the full report, emanating from its oversight investigation of the CIA."

Calling the ruling "disappointing", the ACLU said in a statement that the decision kept the "full truth about the CIA torture program from the American public."

The ACLU would consider options for appeal, said the statement.

While the full text of the CIA torture report still remains classified, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 500-page summary of the report in 2014, in which it was exposed that the CIA repeatedly misled the public, Congress and the White House about its aggressive questioning and torture on detainees after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The summary also contained details about CIA's adoption of controversial methods, including waterboarding, sexual threats, to obtain information, adding that those techniques were largely ineffective and poorly managed.

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