Blog of Rights

Alex
Abdo

Alex Abdo (@AlexanderAbdo) is a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project.

Appeals Court Says CIA Can Hide Torture Evidence from Public

Appeals Court Says CIA Can Hide Torture Evidence from Public

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:52pm
Earlier this week, a federal appeals court ruled that the CIA can effectively decide for itself what Americans are allowed to learn about the torture committed in their name. At issue in the ACLU’s long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was the agency’s right to withhold secret cables describing waterboarding; a photograph of a detainee, Abu Zubaydah, taken around the time that he was subjected to the “enhanced interrogation techniques”; and a short phrase that appears in several Justice Department memos referring to a “source of authority.”
Book Review: "Hard Measures"

Book Review: "Hard Measures"

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 11:03am

In an email sent to potential supporters a few days before releasing his book on CIA torture, Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and its former Deputy Director of Operations, complained that his book, Hard Measures,…

National Security Letters: A Little Less Secret?

National Security Letters: A Little Less Secret?

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & Hannah Mercuris at 4:37pm

The government’s surveillance of Americans in the name of national security remains overwhelmingly secret. Some of the secrecy is legitimate, but much of it is not.   The ACLU has been chipping away at secrecy and “gag order”…

Twisted Logic and the New Book by the CIA Spy Who Destroyed Torture Tapes

Twisted Logic and the New Book by the CIA Spy Who Destroyed Torture Tapes

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:03pm

On Monday, the latest installment in the defense of torture — Hard Measures, by Jose Rodriguez — will hit bookshelves. Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center and its former Deputy Director of Operations, will…

Government Confirms That It Has Secret Interpretation of Patriot Act Spy Powers

Government Confirms That It Has Secret Interpretation of Patriot Act Spy Powers

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:59pm

The government has just officially confirmed what we've long suspected: there are secret Justice Department opinions about the Patriot Act's Section 215, which allows the government to get secret orders from a special surveillance court (the FISA…

CIA: We Do Not "Concede or Not Concede" that Waterboarding is Illegal

CIA: We Do Not "Concede or Not Concede" that Waterboarding is Illegal

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 1:45pm

On Friday, the ACLU appeared before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to argue that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires the CIA to release documents describing its use of waterboarding. The simple question at the heart of…

In Court Today: CIA Claims That Torture Technique Is an “Intelligence Method” Exempted From FOIA

In Court Today: CIA Claims That Torture Technique Is an “Intelligence Method” Exempted From FOIA

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 9:29am

Today I will argue the CIA must release cables describing its use of waterboarding.

Holder's Defense of Warrantless Wiretapping

Holder's Defense of Warrantless Wiretapping

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 11:32am

Most of the attention on Attorney General Eric Holder's speech earlier this week has focused on his attempted justification of the government's policy on the targeted killing of U.S. citizens (you can read our reaction here). But also important…

10 Years Later: Our First Step Toward Torture

10 Years Later: Our First Step Toward Torture

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:44pm

Our country’s embrace of torture after 9/11 may have seemed like a quick one: one day we didn’t torture, and the next we did, with the so-called “torture memos” to blame for the rapid shift. But the reality is that proponents…

The Internal Investigations on Abuse the CIA Doesn't Want Anyone to See

The Internal Investigations on Abuse the CIA Doesn't Want Anyone to See

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:18pm

Two and a half years ago, the government released a damning report by the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) relating to the “enhanced interrogation” program of the CIA. The report was released in response to an ACLU Freedom…

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