Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wire: Obama Admin Rejects Cheney Request for CIA Reports

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some experts say President Obama can simply issue an Executive Order declassifying the CIA reports for Cheney, that is, if the president actually wants the reports released.
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2009 -- Newswires reported today that President Barack Obama's administration has turned down former Vice President Dick Cheney’s request for the declassification of two CIA reports on the effectiveness of the Agency’s detainee program.

A letter dated May 7, 2009, from the CIA’s Information and Privacy Coordinator, Delores M. Nelson, rejected Cheney’s request because the documents he has requested are involved in a Freedom of Information Act court battle.

"In researching the information in question, we have discovered that it is currently the subject of pending FOIA litigation (Bloche v. Department of Defense, Amnesty International v. Central Intelligence Agency). Therefore, the document is excluded from Mandatory Declassification Review," Nelson wrote in the letter to the National Archives, the agency responsible for handling Cheney’s request.

White House officials have told reporters and members of Congress that the Cheney memos do not bolster the case for enhanced interrogation, as Cheney has suggested. But they have nonetheless refused to release them. President Obama has the legal authority to declassify the documents "with the wave of his hand," according to one expert.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire and other sources.)

Source: CIA Denies Cheney's Request to Release Intelligence Documents

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