Raymond Bonner and Alex Gibney v. CIA

About the Case

The Clinic represented investigative journalist Raymond Bonner and documentarian Alex Gibney in a First Amendment action against the Central Intelligence Agency.  Bonner and Gibney, as part of a documentary about the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, sought to interview former FBI agent Ali Soufan, who was present for the start of the program and has been critical of the CIA’s actions.  Soufan had felt unable to answer many key questions because he took the CIA’s redactions of his book, The Black Banners, to be an ongoing gag on his ability to discuss the redacted information.

The Clinic filed a complaint in December, 2018, arguing that (a) there was no legitimate basis for most of the CIA’s redactions to Soufan’s book; (b) therefore the agency was violating Bonner and Gibney’s right to hear what Soufan had to say.  In the Spring the Clinic concluded successful negotiations with the government that resulted in the CIA agreeing to un-redact the key passages in Mr. Soufan’s book, freeing him to speak to our clients for their documentary.