Appeals judges say Obama administration can keep information secret in Gitmo detainee case

Friday, October 8, 2010

Appeals court favors secrecy in Gitmo case

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Obama administration can keep information secret that a detainee held at Guantanamo Bay wants to disclose publicly.

The ruling came in the case of Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian citizen who is seeking his release from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility where he has been held since 2002.

In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court said a federal judge had failed to give substantial deference to the government’s assessment of risks to its foreign policy interests and its national security interests if the information were revealed. The lower court judge had said it was unclear how releasing the information “will interfere in anything.”

The government’s argument provided a detailed and logical explanation of the impact disclosure would have, appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote.

Brown and one of the other judges on the appeals panel, Thomas Griffith, are appointees of President George W. Bush. The third member of the panel, Douglas Ginsburg, is an appointee of Ronald Reagan.

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