Federal judge orders CIA Bay of Pigs volume to remain secret

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Colombia [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the final volume in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba will remain secret. US District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the volume to remain secret because it is merely a draft document that would "risk public release of inaccurate historical information." The National Security Archive (NSA) [advocacy website] sued [press release] the CIA in April seeking release of the volume. The CIA argued that release of the document was exempt from disclosure under the deliberative process privilege, an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text].

The declassification of government documents is often a contentious issue. In 2008 the Public Interest Declassification Board [NARA backgrounder] pressed then-president George W. Bush for improvements to the existing US records declassification scheme [JURIST report] in an era of increased government secrecy. In 2009 the US Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) [official website] declassified a November 2008 report [JURIST reports] detailing the extent of top Bush administration officials' involvement in implementing severe interrogation techniques employed by US military forces against terrorism suspects. The declassification of the Senate report came just after the Department of Justice \[official website] released four top secret memos [JURIST report] from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) [official website] outlining controversial CIA interrogation techniques and their legal rationale. The public release of the memos came in response to a FOIA lawsuit [materials] filed by the ACLU during the Bush administration.

 

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