30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Sep 28, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., September 28, 2005 - Marking International Right to Know Day, the National Security Archive commended the Department of State for including access to government information as one factor evaluated in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Transparency and information are essential to allow people to scrutinize and debate the actions of their government, combat corruption, and promote democracy.

Aug 4, 2005 | Briefing Book
Full Statement of Ralph J. Begleiter (Rosenberg Professor of Communication, Distinguished Journalist in Residence, University of Delaware): "The Pentagon's decision to release these nearly 800 images is a significant victory for the honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in war for their country, as well as for their families, for all service personnel and for the American people.

Aug 3, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. August 3, 2005 - The National Security Archive, along with other secrecy experts, today filed a “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit challenging the FBI’s authority to issue national security letters (NSLs) without any judicial oversight and under a blanket gag order that prohibits the recipient from speaking with anyone about the NSL. The amicus curiae brief was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is reviewing a lower court decision that held that the NSL authority violated the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S.

May 10, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., May 10, 2005 - The D.C. Circuit today issued a unanimous, en banc decision effectively ending the effort by the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch to obtain information about who participated in Vice President Cheney's National Energy Policy Development Group (the "energy task force"). The plaintiffs' goal was to determine whether special interests acted as de facto members of the task force, which would then permit the plaintiffs to obtain further information about the task force's activities and recommendations.

Apr 28, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 28, 2005 - In response to Freedom of Information Act requests and a lawsuit, the Pentagon this week released hundreds of previously secret images of casualties returning to honor guard ceremonies from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and other conflicts, confirming that images of their flag-draped coffins are rightfully part of the public record, despite its earlier insistence that such images should be kept secret.

Mar 18, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., March 18, 2005 - The National Security Archive today filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Department of the Air Force for a pattern and practice of mishandling scores of FOIA requests. The suit alleges that the Air Force fails to acknowledge FOIA requests, loses FOIA requests, fails to process requests, tries to discourage the public from pursuing FOIA requests, fails to respond to inquiries about the status of the requests and lets requests languish while records are destroyed or transferred to other agencies.

Mar 15, 2005 | News
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to speak with you about the Freedom of Information Act and the necessary reforms that would be enacted by the OPEN Government Act of 2005. I wish to commend the co-sponsors of the OPEN Government Act of 2005, Senators Cornyn and Leahy - each of whom has an established record as a defender of open government - for their efforts to ensure that our federal government is accountable and responsive to its citizens. I have extensive experience with the Freedom of Information Act.

Mar 10, 2005 | News
March 10, 2005 TO: Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations, Government Affairs, and Government Reform We are writing to request that Congress suspend the proposed transfer of the Nixon Presidential Materials from their present location at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, to the Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California.

Mar 2, 2005 | News
Statement by Thomas S. Blanton, National Security Archive, George Washington University March 2, 2005 Hearing on "Emerging Threats: Overclassification and Pseudo-classification" 2154 Rayburn House Office Building Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations Committee on Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives Click here to download this statement as a PDF file Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to speak with you about the growing problem of government secrecy and the danger it poses to our security.

Feb 10, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 10, 2005 - February 10, 2005 - As a result of a Freedom of Information Act appeal filed by the National Security Archive, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) corrected its October 2004 blunder of withholding the names and numbers of aviation warnings known as Information Circulars that were widely cited and quoted in the best-selling 9/11 Commission Report.

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