Judge Garland did push the government a bit on the process it used to classify the photos of bin Laden's body. The government stated that the photos fell under the authority of a classification guideline that sets out procedures under which materials can be kept secret. Employees who lack direct authority to classify information can use the authority of that guide to classify specific categories of information. Garland asked Loeb how specific the guide was and what type of information it covered.
"I believe the guide itself is classified," Loeb answered. That answer didn't seem to satisfy Garland.
"What if the guide just says 'do whatever you want?'" Garland asked. Loeb said the process was necessary because there were so few people in the government with original classification powers.
Calling the classification guidelines "murky," Judicial Watch's Bekesha argued the government had to be more transparent about how the photos were classified to begin with.
The judge asks why we shouldn't just defer to the administration's decision but also admits we have know idea how that decision is made. Hum...