President Obama’s Justice Department to Raise Threshold for Invoking “State Secrets’

Sep 23, 2009 9:56am

An Obama administration source tells ABC News that the Justice Department this morning will announce a new policy regarding the invocation of the "State Secrets' privilege, wherein the executive branch refuses to disclose information, asserting that it would harm national security.

Currently, "State Secrets" could be invoked by one official and the standard of proof that the disclosure would be harmful to national security.

The new policy would require officials to convince Attorney General Eric Holder and Justice Department attorneys, with a standard of proof that the disclosure would significantly hurt "national defense or foreign relations."

The news of the change was first reported by the Washington Post.

President Obama has disappointed many liberals and civil libertarians by repeatedly invoking State Secrets in at least three separate cases, regarding the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program in Jewel v. NSA, and al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v Obama, and regarding extraordinary rendition in Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.

- jpt

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