CIA secret interrogation methods - including detention and harsh questioning of suspected terrorists - remain off limits to public release, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
The agency was sued eight years ago to provide details of certain communications describing the use of waterboarding and other direct intelligence-gathering methods of foreign terror suspects. A three-judge panel from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled "intelligence methods" are not subject to a Freedom of Information Act request from the lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
"We give substantial weight to the government's declarations, which establish that disclosing the redacted portions of the (secret memos) would reveal the existence and scope of a highly classified, active intelligence activity," said the judges.
The CIA has admitted as part of the lawsuit it destroyed videotaped interrogations of "high-value" terror suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The alleged members of the al Qaeda terror network are being held overseas, including most recently at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba.