Several of the cables describe high-level efforts by the government to pressure Spain and Germany into dropping investigations of the CIA’s torture of detainees. The cables show that the U.S. expended significant diplomatic resources in order to try and guarantee impunity for officials responsible for the abduction and torture of victims including Khaled El-Masri, an entirely innocent German citizen. At home, the Bush and Obama administrations have invoked legal fictions such as the “state secrets” privilege to prevent U.S. courts from addressing cases of innocent people tortured and rendered by the CIA; these cables reveal the secret ways in which the government worked to defeat accountability abroad.
We believe the American people have a right to know about the government’s efforts to shield from liability those officials who violated domestic and international law by engaging in abduction, rendition, and torture.
The ACLU’s lawsuit comes on the anniversary of another famous leak. On Monday, June 13, 2011, the United States will release the declassified Pentagon Papers — 40 years after they were first leaked. The fact that for 40 years after their original release the government maintained the pretense that release of the Pentagon Papers would cause damage to U.S. national security shows just how divorced from reality the U.S. approach to secrecy has become. Americans should not have to wait 40 more years for the government to declassify vital information that the whole world is already discussing.
— read more —