Feds’ fight to withhold CIA torture photos may soon end | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Feds’ fight to withhold CIA torture photos may soon end

For a decade now, a legal back-and-forth has continued to brew between lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union intent on having the photos released, and government attorneys operating under first President George W. Bush, then President Barack Obama, to keep the images from public eyes. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in 2008 that a 21-photo subset of the images should be released, but President Obama argued that doing as much would “further inflame anti-American opinion and...put our troops in greater danger.” Soon after, the Protected National Security Documents Act (PNSDA) was passed, allowing the Pentagon to withhold certain images should a court agree with whatever rationale is argued.

Yet “the government failed to show that it had adequate basis for the certification,” Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled for the Southern District of New York in August, after the administration said the images should be sealed as a matter of national security. In October, the Guardian reported that Judge Hellerstein told US Justice Department attorneys that they had until December 12, last Friday, to “list, photograph by photograph, the government’s rationale for keeping redacted versions of the photos unseen by the public.” According to an article published by the Daily Beast over the weekend, Hellerstein has given the government until December 19, this Friday, “to submit evidence that the secretary of defense has individually certified each photograph to be a danger to national security.”

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