Saturday, December 23, 2006

Feds back down from ACLU subpoena

The Department of Justice has dropped its attempt to subpoena from the ACLU all copies of a leaked classified document.

Secrecy News reports that:

Yesterday, in a swift and somewhat farcical conclusion to the controversy, the government withdrew the subpoena and announced that the document had been declassified (pdf).

The use of a subpoena was not intended as a threat, a government attorney wrote to the court, but was issued in response to a "request" from the ACLU, so that the organization would not have to voluntarily surrender the document without "due process":

"The Government issued the subpoena based on [...] what it believed to be the ACLU's request for a subpoena in lieu of voluntarily returning the then-classified document."

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