The US Supreme Court Nov. 30 vacated a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that required the Pentagon to release photos of abused detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Court remanded Department of Defense v. ACLU for further consideration under Section 565 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010. The Act gives the Secretary of Defense the ability to prevent certain protected documents from being made public.
Included in the definition of protected documents are photographs “taken during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, through January 22, 2009; and relates to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates exercised his authority under the Act in November. Gates feared that the release of the photos would endanger American lives. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) vowed to continue to fight for the photos to be released. (Jurist, Nov. 30)
See our last post on the torture scandal.