Terrorism-related secrecy

AP loses court battle for Justice Department records

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Feature | December 2, 2008
December 2, 2008

A federal appeals court on Monday blocked The Associated Press from accessing Justice Department documents about the American-born Taliban soldier, John Walker Lindh.

Treasury told to release documents related to terrorist watch list

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Feature | October 8, 2008
October 8, 2008

The Treasury Department must disclose petitions from individuals and groups who want off a list of suspicious people maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, a federal court ruled last week.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered the release in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco.

Abu Ghraib photos must finally be released

Corinna Zarek | Freedom of Information | Reaction | September 22, 2008
September 22, 2008

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.

High court rejects review of eavesdropping challenge

Gregg Leslie | Newsgathering | Quicklink | February 20, 2008
February 20, 2008

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.

Appeals court rules DOD records exempt under FOIA

Scott Albright | Freedom of Information | Analysis | January 14, 2008
January 14, 2008

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.

Unpatriotic, indeed

Corinna Zarek | Prior Restraints | Quicklink | December 12, 2007
December 12, 2007

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."

AP photographer gets first hearing in Iraq

Jennifer Koons | Newsgathering | Quicklink | December 10, 2007
December 10, 2007

On Sunday, the first criminal hearing was held in the case of AP photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been in U.S. custody without charges for nearly 20 months, AP reports.

Hussein's defense attorney, Paul Gardephe, said no formal charges were lodged, and the magistrate judge hearing the case issued an order sealing the proceedings and details of the material presented.

Court date for AP photographer set for Dec. 9

Jennifer Koons | Newsgathering | Quicklink | November 30, 2007
November 30, 2007

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."

State secrets privilege (finally) under attack.

Lucy Dalglish | Secret Courts | Quicklink | November 26, 2007
November 26, 2007

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

News orgs. file complaint about access to terror proceedings

Jennifer Koons | Secret Courts | Quicklink | November 21, 2007
November 21, 2007

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.

AP has details: