AS: They’ve always sort of hedged their bets, and never promised upfront that documents will be released. All of this is cast in the broadest possible language and that, essentially, the remand was necessary because the record was stale, and President Obama’s interrogation directive had had some effect on what the agency could or could not withhold.
It basically meant that the issue would be relitigated before the district court, in the sense that the government would, to the extent it could, reconsider what information it could release. The government itself said it would basically reconsider its position, and then it turned over this. There was no ruling, really, before a judge.
CH: So these are not coming out as a result of Hellerstein’s order. These are coming out as a result of the Justice Department’s decision to no longer claim exemptions one and three.
AS: Correct. They’ve turned over more than they had turned over in the first round.
CH: The I.G. report has been widely anticipated for a long time—it’s supposed to be quite comprehensive, and I’ve heard it described as “the crown jewel.” What is still pending from the suit that we might see in a future release?
AS: There are numerous other CIA documents that apparently are going to be released to us on August 31. These apparently relate to the OIG investigation. There are additional legal memos being withheld by the government that we’ve sought through another FOIA request that is also the subject of litigation. There’s also the presidential directive authorizing the CIA to set up detention facilities abroad. That’s also the subject of the current litigation. There are a bunch of documents relating to interrogation methods applied by the Defense Department that are continuing to be withheld, and remain subject to the litigat