30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

May 2, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 2, 2019 - During 1963, President John F. Kennedy was preoccupied with issues such as Vietnam, the nuclear test ban negotiations, civil rights protests, and Cuba. It is less well known, however, that one of his most abiding concerns was whether and how fast Israel was seeking a nuclear weapons capability and what the U.S. should do about it. Beginning in April 1963, Kennedy insisted that the Israeli leadership accept regular bi-annual U.S. inspections, or in diplomatic language, “visits,” of Israel’s nuclear complex at Dimona in the Negev Desert.

May 2, 2019 | Blog Post
FOIA Reporting Shows Serious Problems in Michigan Prisons   Indefatigable FOIA reporting from the Detroit Free Press reveals several alarming trends in Michigan’s state-run prisons – a spike in death rates, reporting misleading statistics to the state legislature, and shoddy records-keeping. The ratio of deaths in Michigan prison’s is now 348 deaths per 100,000 prisoners, […]

Apr 25, 2019 | Blog Post
Exemption 4 Scope Awaits SCOTUS Ruling On Monday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media. The case, which is the first the justices have heard “to address the meaning of a Freedom of Information Act exemption used to decide when information businesses give the government is […]

Apr 19, 2019 | Blog Post
FOIA Request Shows Al-Nashiri Trial Judge Secretly Sought DOJ Position   In a remarkable turn of events, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit “threw out every single pre-trial order issued over the past three-and-a-half years in the case of Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed Al-Nashiri,” the alleged USS Cole bomber currently being tried by […]

Apr 12, 2019 | Blog Post
Declassification Diplomacy: Trump Administration Turns Over Massive Collection of Intelligence Records on Human Rights and Argentina Today in a diplomatic ceremony hosted by U.S. Archivist David Ferriero at the National Archives, U.S. officials completed the turnover of some 7,500 CIA, FBI, DOD, NSC and State Department records—47,000 pages in total—to Argentina’s Minister of Justice and […]

Apr 4, 2019 | Blog Post
Bicameral, Bipartisan Letter Seeks GAO Review of FOIA Compliance   Representatives Elijah Cummings and Jim Jordan were joined by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, and John Cornyn in sending a letter to the Comptroller General at the Government Accountability Office requesting the GAO “conduct a comprehensive review of agency compliance with the Freedom […]

Mar 28, 2019 | Blog Post
Archivist Bill Burr Wins Dubious Honor of Oldest Pending FOIA Request  The Archive’s latest FOIA Audit showed that the oldest pending FOIA request government-wide is 25-years-old, that’s old enough to rent a car! Curious to see who it belonged to (and with a strong suspicion it was ours), we filed a FOIA request with the […]

Mar 13, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 12, 2019 - Last month’s posting by Robert S. Hopkins on “How the Strategic Air Command Would Have Gone to Nuclear War” provided incredible detail on SAC procedures during the 1960s. Strategic Air Command veteran Bruce Blair takes the story in to the 1970s, with an extraordinary account, based on personal experience, of how SAC would have carried out its nuclear mission if deterrence failed.

Feb 25, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 13, 2019 - Last month’s posting by Robert S. Hopkins on “How the Strategic Air Command Would Have Gone to Nuclear War” provided incredible detail on SAC procedures during the 1960s. Strategic Air Command veteran Bruce Blair takes the story in to the 1970s, with an extraordinary account, based on personal experience, of how SAC would have carried out its nuclear mission if deterrence failed.

Feb 22, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 22, 2019 – The movie VICE, nominated for eight Academy Awards including the best picture Oscar, shows on screen several documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Those documents relate to then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s meetings with oil company lobbyists discussing potential drilling in Iraq. But at least a dozen other declassified records deserve screen time before Sunday’s Oscars show, according to the National Security Archive’s publication today of primary sources from Cheney’s checkered career.

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