The judge in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial ruled Friday that families of September 11 attack victims are entitled to the same unclassified aviation security documents the government turned over to the al Qaeda conspirator’s defense team.
“I’ve always been troubled to the extent which our government keeps things secret from the America people,” U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said, granting the families’ request after a hearing.
“It is amazing what some agencies think is secret,” Brinkema added. “As a culture, we need to be careful not to be so wrapped up in secrecy that we lose track of our core values and laws.”
Her order, issued over the objection of government lawyers, allows attorneys for 9/11 families to obtain copies of documents related to pre-September 11 aviation security once the Moussaoui trial ends.
The cache has thousands of pages, well beyond the documents introduced as evidence to the Moussaoui jury.
I wrote about this issue a few weeks ago, and I’m glad that to see such a sensible decision by Judge Brinkema. Her statements on government secrecy are words of wisdom in a time when classification of documents has become the norm rather than the exception.