Judge Hellerstein: Yes, the Redacted Torture Authorization Pertains to the September 17, 2001 Torture Authorization

I’m still working my way through the ACLU FOIA docket in light of my ongoing series (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4) on the Obama Administration’s efforts to keep the authorization for the torture program–that is, probably the September 17, 2001 Memorandum of Notification–secret.

Now that I’ve laid all that out, this order from Judge Alvin Hellerstein is hysterical.

By order dated October 8, 2010, I directed that the parties submit a briefing schedule with respect to the September 17, 2001 presidential directive. On October 21, 2010, I received an ex parte, classified submission from the Government requesting that I reconsider that order in light of the parties’ upcoming appeals of the October 1,2010 Order of Final Judgment on Fourth and Fifth Motions for Partial Summary Judgment. Upon reviewing the Government’s classified submission in camera, I have determined that litigation of the presidential directive is intertwined with the issues presented by the parties’ appeals of the October 1, 2010 Order, and that resolution of the appeals may be dispositive.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that litigation of the September 17, 2001 presidential directive is stayed pending resolution of the parties’ appeals of the October 1, 2010 Order.

So Judge Hellerstein orders the government to release the language describing the authorization for the torture program–which I believe is the September 17, 2001 MON–on October 1, 2010. And then the government, all secret-like, in a classified ex parte submission, asks him to hold off on the next issue in the litigation, discussions about the September 17, 2001 “Directive” noted in the Dorn declaration.

So he turns around and writes an order saying, “Hey, you know that language about who or how the torture program was authorized, that I believe the government is improperly hiding as an intelligence method? Well, the government just came to me and secretly told me it’s, um, ‘intertwined’ with questions about whether the government should have to release that September 17, 2001 Presidential directive that, as Dorn explained, ‘pertains to the CIA’s authorization to detain terrorists.’”

Next up, Hellerstein will be writing an order reading: “the resident-Pay thorized-oay the orture-tay rogram-pay.”

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @KailiJoy They could extort donations on a vote by vote basis?
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emptywheel @raynetoday They've got video of assassin's car. @jason_corcoran
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emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Which remarkably didn't outlast Hash Bash? @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @onekade 3) Strong reporting there's a financial dragnet. And lots more confirmation of poss uses. @csoghoian
52mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Sure. But we have 1) official FBI confirmation of explosives precursor 2) DOJ IG confirmation Internet = most orders @csoghoian
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emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Huh. It was 18 in NY and VT until just before I got there. And I'm younger than you. @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @onekade Sure. But a BIG mistake activists made last time was in only focusing on phone dragnet. This is not that. @csoghoian
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emptywheel @onekade I think getting at hackers via traffic rather than content. But don't think metadata like that, either.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade But as I noted, the reporting on this was unreliable.
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emptywheel @onekade Ask @csoghoian. I think rather than getting content they're tracking who's coming in where.
58mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Drinking age was lower back then, I imagine. I RTed that just to hear from someone who knew it at that time @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @onekade The smart people think they're using it to get data flow.
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