Summary Judgment in Guantanamo FOIA Case

By Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 10:00 AM

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates has granted summary judgment to the Pentagon in a Freedom of Information Act cast brought by the International Counsel Bureau and the law firm of Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw Pittman. The decision opens:

International Counsel Bureau and Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, LLP (collectively "ICB") bring this action against the United States Department of Defense pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 ("FOIA"), seeking records pertaining to four individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Several rounds of summary judgment motions have occurred in this case. The only issues remaining involve the Department's withholding of forty-five forced cell extraction ("FCE") videos, one video of a detainee receiving a haircut while forcibly restrained, and the adequacy of the Department's search for records. Currently before the Court are renewed motions and cross-motions for summary judgment on those remaining issues. Based upon the Court's in camera inspection of three representative videos, the hearing held on July 12, 2012, the several memoranda filed by the parties and the entire record herein, and for the reasons discussed below, the Court concludes that summary judgment shall be granted in its entirety to the Department on all remaining issues.