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Ninth Circuit Judges Defer to CIA on Daily Briefs

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  1. Freedom of Information
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Even after 40 years, the CIA’s top-secret daily briefings for the president must remain secret, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The records were sought by a political science professor at the University of California, Davis, who is writing a book on the Vietnam War. The court said the briefings warranted “near-blanket” secrecy under federal law. Only about 25 of the 13,500 briefing reports have been made public. “Judges are poorly positioned to evaluate the sufficiency of the CIA’s intelligence claims” and must defer to the agency’s judgment, Judge Raymond Fisher said in the 3-0 ruling. (9/5/07)