May 09,2008 00:00
WASHINGTON -- A U.S district judge in New York says he plans to review a controversial legal opinion related to specific CIA detainee interrogations.
At issue is a 2002 memo from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel dealing with CIA interrogation techniques. It was accompanied by a broader document on the definition of torture and techniques deemed legally permissible at the CIA, including a discussion on waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning, The Washington Post said.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York previously ruled that the memo could be properly withheld from the public by the government because it was subject to attorney-client privilege.
But, Hellerstein said this week he hadn't given "sufficient consideration" to several factors. He mentioned evidence from the American Civil Liberties Union that the memo may have become a part of "official practice and policy," the Post report said.
The ACLU is suing the administration under the Freedom of Information Act seeking records related to the use of harsh interrogation tactics. A spokesman called the judge's ruling "encouraging."
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