Ut oh. The ACLU asked the CIA to stop stalling on production of the CIA IG report. And now the CIA has invented a reason to stall until the August 31 deadline that Hellerstein has given them–they want to review the 318 other documents it owes the ACLU first.
As we explained to the Court and Plaintiffs when Plaintiffs first raised the prospect of expediting the Special Review Report, the Report poses unique processing issues. It is over 200 pages long and contains a comprehensive summary and review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. The Report touches upon the information contained in virtually all of the remaining 318 documents remanded for further review. Although the Government has endeavored in good faith to complete the review of the Special Review Report first, as we have gone through the process, we have determined that prioritizing the Report is simply untenable.
In this instance, we have determined that the only practicable approach is to first complete the review of the remaining 318 documents, and then apply the withholding determinations made with respect to the information in those documents to the Special Review Report.
One month into that process, we have concluded that we must review all of the documents together, and that the review will take until August 31, 2009.
Shorter the CIA: Obama said we have to make this stuff public. So we’re going to buy ourselves two more months until we make it public.
If Judge Hellerstein allows them.
Update: The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer responds (via Spencer):
The CIA has already had more than five months to review the inspector general’s report, and the report is only about two hundred pages long. We’re increasingly troubled that the Obama administration is suppressing documents that would provide more evidence that the CIA’s interrogation program was both ineffective and illegal. President Obama should not allow the CIA to determine whether evidence of its own unlawful conduct should be made available to the public. The public has a right to know what took place in the CIA’s secret prisons and on whose authority.