30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Dec 9, 2005 | News
This is the prepared text of the address delivered on December 9, 2005, by Bill Moyers for the 20th anniversary of the National Security Archive, a non-governmental research institute and library at The George Washington University, in Washington D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Collaborating with him on this speech was Michael Winship. They have been colleagues in public broadcasting for over thirty years, including, most recently, on the PBS weekly broadcast NOW with Bill Moyers. Moyers, who retired from the NOW broadcast last December, is the President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy

Dec 9, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., December 9, 2005 - The National Security Archive celebrates its 20th anniversary today with a special event at George Washington University, headlined by Bill Moyers, with Seymour M. Hersh, Tina Rosenberg, Scott Armstrong, Geneva Overholser, Walter B. Slocombe, Morton H. Halperin and Sherry Jones.

Oct 21, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., October 21, 2005 - U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer has accepted the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) contention that every single word of a 50-page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq must be kept secret, according to a September 30 Memorandum Opinion in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the National Security Archive against the CIA. The Archive filed suit after the CIA refused to expedite processing and release of the 2004 Iraq National Intelligence Estimate ("NIE).

Oct 10, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., October 10, 2005 - The National Security Archive, along with other openness advocates, today filed a "friend of the court" brief with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to review the summary dismissal, on secrecy grounds, of a lawsuit filed by an FBI whistleblower. The Archive's General Counsel Meredith Fuchs explained: "Potential whistleblowers who work in military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies will almost always come into contact with classified information.

Oct 6, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., October 6, 2005 - After failing in 2000, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is again seeking an exception from disclosure of vast quantities of important Defense Department records currently available under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The exception would render records that document “the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence operations” of the DIA Directorate of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) unreachable to the public. The provision currently is included in the Defense Authorization Bill (S. 1042) and the Intelligence Authorization Bill (S.

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.

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