WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling which allowed the CIA to refuse to confirm whether it had information on the use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists.
A lower court federal judge had sided with the CIA and dismissed a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking those records. In response to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA said that merely confirming the existence of drone records would reveal classified information. But the government subsequently backed off that claim during oral arguments before the appellate court.
Friday's ruling by a three-court panel sends the case back to the lower court, where the agency can argue that the records it has on drones are exempt from FOIA disclosure requirements.