A federal judge on Thursday kept some pressure on the Central Intelligence Agency as it works to declassify a summary of a key Senate intelligence committee report.
Acting in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg gave the CIA until June 20 to spell out its timeline for completing the declassification review.
“The more detailed, the better,” Boasberg added.
The ACLU is trying to pry loose, among other documents, the 400-plus page executive summary of the interrogation and rendition report completed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the 6,000-plus page full report itself.
In April, the Senate panel chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to send the report and summary to the White House so that declassification can proceed. Obama administration officials have previously indicated, broadly, that the work could be done sometime this summer.
“The political process, we all believe, is going to expedite the declassification,” Boasberg said, but pointedly added that “we can’t simply rely on political pressure.”
Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, told Boasberg during the 15-minute hearing Thursday morning that getting a “date certain” helps.
“I can assure you,” Justice Department attorney Vesper Mei told the judge, “the CIA is acting expeditiously in this review, and there is no intention of delaying.”