WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge agreed to review videos that show Guantanamo guards forcing prisoners out of their cells, and he ordered the Pentagon to search its records once more using alternate spellings for prisoner names.
Apart from those rulings, U.S. District Judge John Bates refused to grant the International Counsel Bureau and the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop summary judgment on its claims. The Defense Department rightfully withheld audio recordings, according to the 12-page decision.
On behalf of the families of Kuwaiti-born Guantanamo Bay detainees, Pillsbury Winthrop demanded records in 2009 on the policies and practices of transfer or release of prisoners from the military prison.
The Pentagon had tried to withhold the video recordings under exemption 2 of the Freedom of Information Act, but Bates rejected that maneuver May 23.
As the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Milner v. U.S. Department of the Navy, “there is no ‘high 2’ exemption as claimed by the Department; rather, exemption 2 is limited to ‘records relating to issues of employee relations and human resources,'” Bates wrote.
The Pentagon must also search its database using additional spellings of the name Abu Khallaad, and produce three representative videotapes for the court to review in camera.