11/24/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Holder's State Secrets Policy Fails To Impress Critics: "Nothing Has Changed"

Attorney General Eric Holder got plenty of attention Wednesday for announcing a new policy that is supposed to "strengthen public confidence" when the Justice Department invokes "state secrets" to shut down lawsuits alleging wrongdoing by the CIA or other U.S. government agencies.

But as national-security lawyers pore over the fine print, they are seeing a lot less than meets the eye. Although Holder is setting up a new high-level review process before Justice invokes the so-called state-secrets privilege, the new policy is unlikely to affect the high-profile cases "people care about"�"�such as claims that government officials violated the law when they conducted warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens or rendered terror suspects to countries that practice torture, according to Robert Chesney, a University of Texas law professor who has studied the use of the state-secrets privilege.

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