Earlier this year, we filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the CIA’s claim of FOIA exemptions was legally improper, and asking the D.C. federal district court to order the release of these crucial reports. In July, we won a small but important victory: the court ordered the CIA to produce all eleven reports for in camera review – that is, to allow the court itself to read the reports in closed session to ascertain whether their withholding was lawful.
Last week, the court ruled on the balance of our outstanding motion with disappointing results. The court held that 10 of the 11 reports were withheld properly, notwithstanding our arguments that the information we are seeking from these reports is narrowly confined to activities that the CIA itself regarded as unauthorized at the time. Although the court ordered the CIA to review the eleventh report more closely, it made clear that the agency must only release information in that report that matches information previously disclosed in the Special Review.