Mark Hamblett reports:
The refusal of the National Security Agency to disclose whether conversations between lawyers and their clients at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility were intercepted has been upheld by a federal appeals court in Manhattan.
Addressing questions of first impression, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday adopted a doctrine holding that intelligence agencies can refuse to confirm or deny the existence of records sought under the Freedom of Information Act where intelligence officials state that disclosure would compromise national security.
Joining other circuits in adopting the so-called Glomar Doctrine, the 2nd Circuit affirmed a 2008 decision by Southern District of New York Judge Denise Cote, who had granted summary judgment for the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice in a Freedom of Information Act case brought by law firms, law professors and attorneys who represent suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo.
The records at issue in Wilner v. National Security Agency, 08-4726-cv, would have been accumulated under the controversial Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), begun by President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
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