After nearly five years of fighting between the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union over images of torture at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, a federal appeals court ruled today that the photos must be made available to the public.
The Supreme Court Tuesday declined to review without comment an ACLU lawsuit against the National Security Agency over its warrantless wiretapping program. The dismissal of the suit was upheld last summer by the Sixth Circuit, which found that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue because they could not show they were harmed by the program.
The Department of Defense does not have to publicly disclose documents related to the formation of special military commissions created to try suspected terrorists despite the fact that the documents were produced by consultants hired outside the agency, a federal court ruled Friday.
A U.S. Court of Appeals held part of the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act to be unconstitutional, stating its vagueness with relation to matters involving aiding terrorism as rationale. The 9th Circuit panel wrote that the law did not survive a vagueness challenge, which would require it to put "a person of ordinary intelligence on notice that his or contemplated conduct is unlawful."
The Associated Press reports that U.S. militiary officials plan to submit evidence to the Iraqi judiciary system on Dec. 9 against AP photographer Bilal Hussein. According to AP, "the move would be the first legal step in initiating formal charges against Hussein, who was seized in Ramadi on April 12, 2006."
In federal courts and on Capitol Hill, challenges are brewing to a key legal strategy President Bush is using to protect a secret surveillance program that monitors phone calls and e-mails inside the United States, The Associated Press reports. Under grilling from lawmakers and attack by lawsuits alleging Bush authorized the illegal wiretapping of Americans, the White House has invoked a legal defense known as the ''state secrets'' doctrine
Five media organizations -- the Associated Press, the New York Times Co., Dow Jones & Company Inc., the Hearst Corp. and the McClatchy Company -- filed a complaint Wednesday in which they claimed they were being denied access to much of the military commission proceeding against a Canadian terror suspect.
U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema Tuesday criticized the government's secrecy in the case of a prominent Muslim spiritual leader from Fairfax County who was convicted on terrorism charges, and she threatened to grant a new trial if the government doesn't share information about the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program.
Interrogation tapes sought by the defense in the government's case against Sept. 11 terrorist Zacharias Moussaoui just did not exist, the CIA told a federal court twice during the course of the trial. Moussaoui's attorneys had asked for recordings of interrogations of "enemy combatants," but the CIA said they had no recordings, first on May 9, 2003 and again on Nov. 14, 2005. Moussaoui later pleaded guilty to his involvement in the attacks and was sentenced to life in prison.