Washington

Lawyers in torture case seek materials the CIA calls secret

Lawyers for two psychologists who developed harsh interrogation methods in the government's war on terror want a judge to allow them to interview two CIA officials and have access to documents the government claims are secret.

But government lawyers told the judge Friday the officials and material are protected under the state secrets privilege and releasing it would threaten national security.

The ACLU, which sued psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen of Spokane, Washington, on the behalf of three men who contend they were tortured using techniques the psychologists designed, told the judge the material and CIA officials aren't needed.

ACLU lawyer Dror Ladin said the case is about the design of the torture program, not about the people who administered it.

U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush said the agents' testimony is "somewhat collateral" to the case and may not be needed. The judge planned to rule on the issue at a later date.