Judicial Watch Files FOIA Lawsuit against CIA to Obtain Records on Results of Enhanced Interrogations
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to obtain records from the Office of former Vice President Cheney related to CIA interrogation techniques.
According to the complaint, which was filed on July 14, 2009, Judicial Watch is seeking the following records:
- a. CIA Report dated July 13, 2004, from Collection title "OVP Cheney, Immediate Office Files," Folder Title "Detainees."
- b. CIA Report dated June 1, 2005, from Collection title "OVP Cheney, Immediate Office Files," Folder Title "Detainees."
On March 31, 2009, Vice President Cheney personally issued a request with the National Archives Presidential Libraries section for declassification review of these 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.
CIA interrogations have been the subject of great controversy over the last few months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came under fire in April when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA’s use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise.
"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."
Judicial Watch filed its original FOIA request with the CIA on May 18, 2009. On June 25, 2009, the CIA acknowledged receipt of the request but provided no documents, and did not specify when Judicial Watch would receive a substantive response. By law, the CIA had until June 30, 2009, to provide any non-exempt records.