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ACLU V. DOD, CIA Preliminary Injunction Memorandum

ACLU V. DOD, CIA Preliminary Injunction Memorandum

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Published by Pamela Barnett

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Published by: Pamela Barnett on Sep 05, 2011
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1UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORKAMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, CENTER FORCONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, PHYSICIANS FOR HUMANRIGHTS, VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE ANDVETERANS FOR PEACE,Plaintiffs,v.DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, AND ITS COMPONENTSDEPARTMENT OF ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF NAVY,DEPARTMENT OF AIR FORCE, DEFENSEINTELLIGENCE AGENCY; DEPARTMENT OF HOMELANDSECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, AND ITSCOMPONENTS CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION, CRIMINALDIVISION, OFFICE OF INFORMATION ANDPRIVACY, OFFICE OF INTELLIGENCE, POLICY ANDREVIEW, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION;DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND CENTRALINTELLIGENCE AGENCY,Defendants.CIVIL ACTIONDOCKET NO. 04-CV-4151 (AKH)
 MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORTOF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTIONFOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION....................................................2STATEMENT OFFACTS..............................................4ARGUMENT........................................................6A. PLAINTIFFS ARE LIKELY TO SUCCEEDON THE MERITS OF THEIR CLAIM BECAUSETHEY SATISFY THE STATUTORY AND REGULATORYREQUIREMENTS FOR EXPEDITEDPROCESSING......................91. Plaintiffs Are Entitled To ExpeditedProcessing Because They Are Organizations
Case 1:04-cv-04151-AKH Document 3 Filed 07/06/04 Page 1 of 25
 
2Primarily Engaged In DisseminatingInformation And Who Are Seeking RecordsThat Are Urgently Needed To Inform ThePublic About Federal GovernmentActivity.............10(i) Plaintiffs Are Organizations PrimarilyEngaged In DisseminatingInformation............10(ii) The Records Plaintiffs Seek AreUrgently Needed To Inform The PublicAbout Federal GovernmentActivity...............142. Plaintiffs Are Entitled To ExpeditedProcessing Because The Request Meets TheFOIA’s Humanitarian Need And ImminentRiskStandards.......................................19B. IRREPARABLE INJURY AND EXTREME DAMAGE WILLRESULT IF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION NOTGRANTED..............20C. THE BALANCE OF THE HARDSHIPS CLEARLY FAVORPLAINTIFFS................................................22CONCLUSION.....................................................25
INTRODUCTION
This case involves a request filed under the Freedom ofInformation Act (“FOIA”) for records pertaining to the treatment ofindividuals apprehended after September 11, 2001, and held in UnitedStates custody in military bases or detention facilities outside theUnited States (“Detainees”). Although Plaintiffs requested theserecords almost nine months ago, and although the extraordinary public
Case 1:04-cv-04151-AKH Document 3 Filed 07/06/04 Page 2 of 25
 
3interest in the release of these records is clear, the only recordthat Defendants have thus far disclosed in response to the request isa set of talking points used by the State Department incommunications with the media. Plaintiffs file this motion in orderto enforce their statutory right, under FOIA, to expeditedprocessing.Plaintiffs are organizations that share a belief that Detaineesshould be treated in accordance with domestic and international lawand whose mission is to provide information to the public on suchissues.
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They seek the immediate processing and release of agencyrecords, pursuant to FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552, from Defendants Departmentof Defense (“DOD”), Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Department ofHomeland Security (“DHS”), Department of State (“DOS”), CentralIntelligence Agency (“CIA”), and their above-named components.Plaintiffs have filed two FOIA requests seeking identicalcategories of documents. The first was filed in October 2003; havingreceived no response to that Request from Defendants, and amidstfurther news reports describing the abuse of Detainees, Plaintiffsfiled a second FOIA request in May 2004. In each case, Plaintiffssought expedited processing under FOIA and corresponding regulations.With respect to the October 2003 request, no agency grantedplaintiffs’ request for expedited processing. With respect to the
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Plaintiffs are American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”), Center forConstitutional Rights (“CCR”), Physicians for Human Rights (“PHR”),Veterans for Common Sense (“VCS”) and Veterans for Peace (“VCP”).
Case 1:04-cv-04151-AKH Document 3 Filed 07/06/04 Page 3 of 25

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