ACLU Files Motion Asking Court to Hold CIA in Contempt
By Jon Ponder on 12/12/2007, 5:53pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Michael Mukasey, George Bush's new attorney general --- same as the old attorney general --- has yet to order federal employees to preserve evidence related to the CIA's destruction of tapes of its torture sessions with terror suspects.

Even without Mukasey's order, however, the CIA appears to have violated a court order in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in 2004 to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demanding information on the treatment and interrogation of prisoners:

The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a motion asking a federal judge to hold the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in contempt, charging that the agency flouted a court order when it destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the harsh interrogation of prisoners in its custody.

In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the ACLU and other organizations in October 2003 and May 2004, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the CIA to produce or identify all records pertaining to the treatment of detainees in its custody.

Despite the court’s ruling, the CIA never produced the tapes or even acknowledged their existence. Last week, in anticipation of media reports concerning the tapes, CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly acknowledged that the CIA had made the tapes in 2002 but destroyed them in 2005.

The ACLU brief and related legal documents are available online at: www.aclu.org/torturefoia.