A U.S. federal judge has backed the U.S. State Department's refusal to declassify 23 embassy cables that were already released by WikiLeaks and published by news organizations.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought the cables through a Freedom of Information Act request. It sued after the government refused to provide them, claiming secrecy.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled on July 23 that WikiLeaks' disclosure "is no substitute for an official acknowledgement" by the government. The cables included communications about the secret use of drones for targeted killings and government opposition to the release of photos showing U.S. military detainees being tortured.
Ben Wizner, of the ACLU, said the ruling further damages the government's credibility and "undermines the legitimacy of any future government claim of secrecy."
Based on reporting by AP
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