A federal judge has ordered the Defense Department to turn over to the court three video recordings showing Guantanamo prisoners being forced out of their cells.
U.S. District Court Judge John Bates’s unusual order came Wednesday in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by families of Kuwaiti prisoners being held at the U.S. military-run prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Bates said the Pentagon, which is represented in the case by the Justice Department, had failed to offer detailed enough explanations to sustain the government’s position that the videos are exempt from disclosure under the law.
Bates suggested he’d lost patience with the government in the case, noting that he’d given the Defense Department three chances to explain its position but that officials repeatedly offered “inconsistent and confusing” explanations.
“The Court already allowed the Department a ‘last chance’ to supplement its declarations,” Bates wrote in a 12-page opinion posted here. “Attempts by the Department to ‘correct’ or supplement its prior submissions have resulted in further obfuscation….The written submissions provided by the Department simply do not allow the Court meaningfully to assess whether the claimed exemptions actually apply.”
Read the full story at Josh Gerstein’s Politico blog.