CIA won’t release torture documents

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The Central Intelligence Agency is refusing to release a series of key documents about its secret prison and torture program. The announcement came in response to a court-imposed deadline in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. The CIA says releasing information on its so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” would jeopardize national imagessecurity by exposing classified intelligence sources and methods. The refusal comes one week after the Justice Department released a previously classified CIA report on torture at overseas prisons and launched a probe into the conduct of CIA interrogators. The investigation has been criticized for focusing on low-level operatives and not the Bush administration officials who authorized the practices the operatives carried out.

The documents that the CIA wants kept under wraps could provide a wealth of information on the Bush administration’s role. The documents include President George W. Bush’s September 2001 authorization for jailing CIA prisoners abroad, cables between CIA officials in the secret prisons and their superiors in Washington, and memos by CIA lawyers on the operations’ legality. Alex Abdo of ACLU’s National Security Project said, “The Obama administration must…release all crucial documents that would shed further light on the origins and scope of the Bush administration’s torture program. The American public has a right to know the full truth about the torture that was committed in its name.”

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