When the government keep secrets from the public about its misdeeds, it's always cause for concern. When the government keeps secrets about people who were killed by its agents, it's cause for alarm.

At least twenty one people have died from homicides while in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an ACLU analysis of Department of Defense data. When was the Bush administration going to reveal that to the public, one wonders? At least eight of the deaths "resulted from abusive techniques by military or intelligence officers, such as strangulation or 'blunt force injuries," reported the San Antonio Express News.

To date, there have been more than 400 investigations of detainee abuse, and more than 230 military personnel have received a court-martial, nonjudicial punishment or other administrative action.

"There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths," said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU's executive director. "High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable."

The data includes detainees who were interrogated by military intelligence, Navy Seals and "Other Governmental Agency" personnel, which generally refers to the CIA.

Another great example of why the Freedom of Information Act is so important -- without it, this information would likely never have come out. For more, see ACLU's press release and the autopsy reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. See also Patriot Act updates from Capitol Hill.