On Friday, the ACLU appeared before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to argue that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires the CIA to release documents describing its use of waterboarding. The simple question at the heart of the hearing was this: is waterboarding an “intelligence method” that can be protected from disclosure under FOIA? We argued that the answer — of course not — is easy because even the president himself has declared that waterboarding is illegal. Exposing official misconduct to public scrutiny is the chief purpose of FOIA. But it cannot serve that purpose if even officially confirmed illegality is protectable.