FOIA

Torture: America's Export

Torture: America's Export

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:07pm
Yesterday, the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) issued a comprehensive report laying out the scope of the CIA's extraordinary rendition, secret prison and torture program. The report, following up on the ACLU's 2012 Torture Report, traces the evolution of the program, through which the CIA kidnapped terrorism suspects from around the world, flew them secretly to "black sites" – where they were held incommunicado without charge or trial – and tortured them. The OSJI report reveals that 54 nations, more than a quarter of the world, directly participated in the torture program, including through housing CIA prisoners on their soil, where they were often tortured; helping kidnap terrorism suspects and ship them overseas without any legal process; and allowing CIA planes to use their airspace and airports for those kidnapping missions. (Check out the report to learn which countries participated, and what types of assistance they offered). And it compiles the largest, most detailed list yet of the men and women thrown into these horrific black holes, naming 136 victims, many of whose whereabouts remain unknown today.
A FOIA White Out

A FOIA White Out

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:46pm

Secret law exists inside the United States.

As we wrote a few weeks ago, one of the main issues discussed on the Senate floor during the FISA debate was secret law.  Under the law,  the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court makes…

Demanding Answers for Three Deaths at Guantánamo

Demanding Answers for Three Deaths at Guantánamo

By Avinash Samarth, ACLU National Security Project at 5:00pm

On November 28, the ACLU filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking the U.S. military’s autopsy reports of the three men who died most recently while detained at Guantánamo Bay. The men—Adnan Latif, Awal Gul, and…

Seeking the Truth About the CIA's Detainee Abuses

Seeking the Truth About the CIA's Detainee Abuses

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 10:55am

In April 2011, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking a narrow yet critically important set of government documents: internal CIA reports detailing the use of unauthorized interrogation techniques at its secret overseas prisons,…

Government Releases List of Prisoners Approved for Transfer from Guantánamo

Government Releases List of Prisoners Approved for Transfer from Guantánamo

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:36pm

Today, just weeks after the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the information, the government released the names of 55 of the prisoners approved for transfer from the prison at Guantánamo Bay. The prisoners were unanimously…

In Court Today: Fighting the CIA's Secrecy Claims on Drones

In Court Today: Fighting the CIA's Secrecy Claims on Drones

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 7:41am

This morning the ACLU will appear before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about the CIA’s use of drone aircraft to carry out targeted killings around the world. We will argue that the court…

FOIA Documents Show FBI Was Watching Occupy Protestors, Some Docs Still Secret on National Security Grounds

FOIA Documents Show FBI Was Watching Occupy Protestors, Some Docs Still Secret on National Security Grounds

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 10:23am

Just shy of the one-year anniversary of the inaugural Occupy Wall Street protests, the ACLU of Northern California obtained initial documents from the FBI about surveillance of Occupy demonstrations in the region (see the FBI’s response here).

The…

GRAPHIC: How the Government Simultaneously Confirms AND Denies Targeted Killing

GRAPHIC: How the Government Simultaneously Confirms AND Denies Targeted Killing

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 3:59pm

Today, ProPublica published an important and illuminating news article and accompanying interactive web feature that demonstrates just how duplicitous the government is being regarding the CIA’s targeted killing program.

As we’ve…

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:44pm

Last month the ACLU released a joint report with Yale Law School, Victims of Complacency, that documents the ongoing trafficking, forced labor and abuse of foreign workers hired through U.S. government contracts to work in support of U.S. military…

Happy Birthday, FOIA: The Myths and an Unlikely Hero Behind the Origin of the Freedom of Information Act

Happy Birthday, FOIA: The Myths and an Unlikely Hero Behind the Origin of the Freedom of Information Act

By Sam Walker, University of Nebraska at Omaha at 12:52pm

Happy birthday, FOIA!

July 4 marks the 46th birthday of the Freedom of Information Act. President Lyndon Johnson signed the historic law on July 4, 1966, at his ranch in Texas. FOIA has become a cornerstone of American democracy, making…

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