Apparently some of the worst shitheads in congress Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman put put together a bill that almost feels like it was tailored to infuriate every right thinking person with any sense of justice. first i will paste the text of the bill which is very legalese-ish. then a summary.
(b) Definitions- In this section:
(1) COVERED RECORD- The term ‘covered record’ means any record--
(A) that is a photograph that was taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States; and
(B) for which a certification by the Secretary of Defense under subsection (c) is in effect.
(2) PHOTOGRAPH- The term ‘photograph’ encompasses all photographic images, whether originals or copies, including still photographs, negatives, digital images, films, video tapes, and motion pictures.
(1) IN GENERAL- For any photograph described under subsection (b)(1)(A), the Secretary of Defense shall certify, if the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, determines that the disclosure of that photograph would endanger--
(A) citizens of the United States; or
(B) members of the Armed Forces or employees of the United States Government deployed outside the United States.
(2) CERTIFICATION EXPIRATION- A certification submitted under paragraph (1) and a renewal of a certification submitted under paragraph (3) shall expire 3 years after the date on which the certification or renewal, as the case may be, is submitted to the President.
(3) CERTIFICATION RENEWAL- The Secretary of Defense may submit to the President--
(A) a renewal of a certification in accordance with paragraph (1) at any time; and
(B) more than 1 renewal of a certification.
(4) CERTIFICATION RENEWAL- A timely notice of the Secretary’s certification shall be provided to Congress.
(d) Nondisclosure of Detainee Records- A covered record shall not be subject to--
(1) disclosure undersection 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act); or
(2) disclosure under any proceeding under that section.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the voluntary disclosure of a covered record. (f) Effective Date- This section shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act and apply to any photograph created before, on, or after that date that is a covered record.
hmm what does this mean exactly? summarized pretty well by glen greenwald.(i think that's who):
"The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 -- that literally has no purpose other than to allow the government to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States." As long as the Defense Secretary certifies -- with no review possible -- that disclosure would "endanger" American citizens or our troops, then the photographs can be suppressed even if FOIA requires disclosure. The certification lasts 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely. The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week."
FOIA is the Freedom of Information Act incase you didnt know. it's one of the few laws that actually protects the citizenry