Posts tagged with ‘FOIA’
Henry Kissinger, in a 1975 conversation at the Foreign Minister’s Office in Ankara, Turkey. WikiLeaks, Cable 0860114-1573.
Background, via Slate:
Wikileaks released a searchable database of over 1.7 million diplomatic cables from the years 1973 to 1976 today. Because so many of them — over 200,000 — are connected to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the collection is being informally dubbed the “Kissinger Cables.” But unlike previous Wikileaks document collections, this release isn’t a whistleblower leak. Instead, it’s the result of an effort to obtain and organize public documents obtained from the National Archives and Record Administration.
So, what’s in them? The findings, so far, are more interesting than they are damning. In that light, the “Kissinger Cables,” officially called “PlusD,” seem most notable as a well-organized, historical archive of the scope, tone, and depth of U.S. diplomacy around the world.
FJP: Pesky FOIA.
The CIA recently rejected an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request for documents that disclose the US government’s guidelines for targeting US citizens and foreign nationals with drone attacks.
In its response to the ACLU request, the CIA wrote that “it can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to this request without compromising national security concerns.”
Take it away, Glenn Greenwald:
Numerous Obama officials — including the President himself and the CIA Director — have repeatedly boasted in public about this very program. Obama recently hailed the CIA drone program by claiming that “we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied,” and added that it is “a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases and so on.” Obama has told playful jokes about the same drone program. Former CIA Director and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also likes to tell cute little jokes about CIA Predator drones, and then proclaimed in December that the drone program has “been very effective at undermining al Qaeda and their ability to plan those kinds of attacks.” Just two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech purporting to legally justify these same drone attacks…
… Everyone in the world knows the CIA has a drone program. It is openly discussed everywhere, certainly including the multiple Muslim countries where the drones routinely create piles of corpses, and by top U.S. Government officials themselves.
But then when it comes time to test the accuracy of their public claims by requesting the most basic information about what is done and how execution targets are selected, and when it comes time to ask courts to adjudicate its legality, then suddenly National Security imperatives prevent the government even from confirming or denying the existence of the program: the very same program they’ve been publicly boasting and joking about. As the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer put it after Obama publicly defended the program: “At this point, the only consequence of pretending that it’s a secret program is that the courts don’t play a role in overseeing it” – that, and ensuring that any facts that contradict these public claims remain concealed.
Nine organization have now filed an Amicus — or friends of the court — brief to support an ACLU appeal against the CIA’s refusal to disclose documents that explain “when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killing.”
The organizations signing the brief are:
- Bureau of Investigative Journalism
- Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Center on National Security at Fordham Law School
- The Constitution Project
- First Amendment Coalition
- Human Rights Watch
- International Commission of Jurists
- National Security Archive
climateadaptation asked: Excellent catch on the CIA FOIA request denial. I happen to follow climate and national security and this cracks open some research. Many thanks! m
That’s great that our Internet scouring cropped up something useful for you. Finding bits others can run with is what we’re trying to do.
Secrecy News is reporting that the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency is looking for a contractor to digitize and release “approximately 4 million linear feet of film up to approximately 7 inches in width.”
The film contains historical intelligence satellite imagery.
For those counting, four million feet is about 757 miles.