Eric Holder releases newly revamped state secrets policy. In the face of a storm of recent criticisms from political commentators that President Obama's policies on state secrets privileges represent a continuation of the Bush administration's policies, the Obama administration has maintained all along that these policies were undergoing comprehensive Justice Department review, with the intent of releasing a new set of comprehensive rules governing the invocation and abuse of state secrets. Today, the Obama administration spelled out its new state secrets policy. [more inside]
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald has new evidence. Previously.
Obama's Justice Department has endorsed its predecessor's claims that the details of the extraordinary rendition program are "state secrets."
Congress has never acted to codify the state secrets privilege. It considered doing so in the 1970s but specifically chose not to include the privilege in the federal rules of evidence. Nonetheless, dating from its application in the Reynolds case, the state secrets privilege has been repeatedly invoked, often with disturbing results. This is why we, in cooperation with the Constitution Project, have joined with a bipartisan coalition of policy experts, legal scholars and former government officials in calling on Congress to limit the privilege's use PDF. (WaPo)Case Studies in State Secrets from Federation of American Scientists
Dangerous Discretion: State Secrets and the El-Masri Rendition Case
Judge Refuses to Dismiss NSA Spy Program Lawsuit. Judge Walker has denied the motion by the government to dismiss the EFF's suit based on the state secrets doctrine. Read the order [pdf] and more coverage and analysis at SCOTUSblog.
U.S. Tightening Rules on Keeping Scientific Secrets [NYTimes free subscription required] "One White House proposal is to eliminate the sections of articles that give experimental details researchers from other laboratories would need to replicate the claimed results, helping to prove their validity " It's a new monkey to keep See, Hear, and Speak no evil company: Publish no scientifically replicable evil.