Freedom of Information Act

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Judge: Cheney Interview in Plame Case Can't Be Sealed

But government can redact certain portions

(Newser) - A federal judge has ordered the FBI to release most of the interview it conducted with Dick Cheney over the Valerie Plame case, in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have tried to keep the record of the 2004 sit-down sealed, arguing... More »

Obama to Open White House Visitor Logs

Aims to boost transparency, resolve watchdog lawsuits

(Newser) - The Obama administration has agreed to release the normally private list of visitors to the White House, as a move to increase transparency, and resolve four lawsuits against both it and the previous administration from a watchdog group. “We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most... More »

Obama Met at Least 27 Health Industry Execs

Lawsuit prompts White House to finally release the list

(Newser) - Since February, President Obama has hosted at least 27 meetings with health industry bigwigs—representing hospitals, doctors, pharmaceuticals and insurance companies—the Huffington Post reports, in its campaign to head off resistance to health care reform. Names of the visitors were released last night, just before the president's press conference... More »

US Squelched Data on Car Phone Danger

(Newser) - In 2003 a federal agency compiled hundreds of pages of research on the dangers of using cell phones while driving, but suppressed the findings because of pressure from Congress. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a part of the Transportation Department, also planned a long-term study of the risks of... More »

'Ethics Elves' Hounded Palin Out of Office

Endless FOIA requests, ethics investigations, made her quit

(Newser) - The real reason Sarah Palin quit governing Alaska has nothing to do with 2012, writes John Fund of the Wall Street Journal. She was forced to quit by an onslaught of Freedom of Information Act requests—which anyone can file in Alaska—used by her political enemies to paralyze her.... More »

Businesses Fight to Keep Corporate Flight Info Private

(Newser) - Business execs who jet around in private planes are fighting to keep their flights secret, reports ProPublica. After a freedom-of-information request from ProPublica, the FAA agreed to change policy and reveal which businesses are allowed to keep their flight records out of public databases. Before the information came out, however,... More »

As With Bush, Obama Won't Release WH Visitors List

(Newser) - Despite President Obama’s promise of transparency, the administration is blocking requests for the White House visitors list, MSNBC reports, defying two federal court rulings that the lists are public record. In addition to denying MSNBC’s request for a list of all visitors since Jan. 20, the Secret Service... More »

Courts Unlikely to Block Release of Torture Pics

White House has slim hopes for appeal, may look to Congress

(Newser) - Barack Obama has said he wants to prevent the publication of photos depicting abuse of  detainees, but legal experts say the White House has an uphill battle in reversing the court decision to release them. The administration thinks that the Bush-era lawyers did not make a sufficiently strong case in... More »

White House Backpedals on Releasing Torture Photos

(Newser) - The White House is rethinking its promise to release photos of detainees being abused in US custody, press secretary Robert Gibbs suggested yesterday, saying President Obama has “great concern” about the impact they would have. At issue are 44 photos targeted in a Freedom of Information Act suit by... More »

Flyover 'Red Flags' Get News Orgs Poking Around

(Newser) - At least one news organization may file a Freedom of Information Act request, demanding the manifest for Monday’s Air Force One flight over New York, according to the American Spectator’s anonymous “Prowler”—who relays suspicions that civilians or a high-level administration official was on board. “... More »

Rose Mary's Baby: FBI Named Worst at 'Losing' Files

Agency comes up empty on 2 of every 3 requests

(Newser) - "We never find our files" might be an apt motto for the FBI, according to a damning report from the National Security Archive. The private institution awarded the FBI its "Rosemary Award" for the worst Freedom of Information Act performance of any federal agency. It fails to fulfill... More »

Obama Vows Transparency, Freezes Top Salaries

(Newser) - President Obama announced today that he was freezing the salaries of top White House staff who take in more than $100,000 a year, the AP reports. “Families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington,” he said. Obama is also requiring federal agencies to respond more actively... More »

Fed Won't Say Where $2T in Loans Went

Money is in addition to $700B Wall St. bailout; collateral unclear, too

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve has lent more than $2 trillion to financial institutions under programs without congressional oversight—and will not disclose to whom or under what terms, Bloomberg reports. The loans are separate from the $700 billion congressionally approved bailout package. Investors and citizens are concerned that the collateral given... More »

Secret Justice Memo Bares CIA Torture Defense

Agents would be safe from prosecution if they acted in good faith

(Newser) - The Bush administration advised the CIA in 2002 that its agents would not be prosecuted on anti-torture legislation as long as they professed an "honest belief" that their actions would not cause severe pain and anguish, CNN reports. The memo is one of three made public by the ACLU,... More »

White House Emails Can Stay Missing: Judge

Watchdog group outraged by ruling about lost missives

(Newser) - Records on millions of missing White House emails can stay secret after all, a federal judge ruled today. US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected a watchdog group's lawsuit, saying the records are kept in an agency exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. A probe, lawsuit, and appeal are all... More »

Clinton to Release First Lady Schedules

All 11,046 pages of them

(Newser) - The public can finally get a look at Hillary Clinton’s record as first lady—all 11,046 pages of it. The National Archives will release all of Clinton's daily schedules, it announced yesterday, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request made almost a year ago. The documents detail... More »

CIA 'Gulled' Court on Torture Tapes, Says Judge

May quiz officials himself

(Newser) - A federal judge said he suspects the CIA lied to his court about tapes showing the harsh interrogations of two al-Qaeda leaders, the New York Times reports. The CIA claims no records exist concerning the tapes, which were destroyed in 2005. But the judge, currently deciding a Freedom of Information... More »

WH Told to Reveal Visitor List

Court rules that Bush and Cheney's appointments are public knowledge

(Newser) - Who stops by the White House or Dick Cheney's place is a matter of public record, a district court judge ruled today, blocking the Bush administration's attempts to keep visitor logs sealed. Liberal watchdogs had argued the information is covered by the Freedom of Information Act, while President Bush had... More »

NASA Forced to Open Up on UFO Incident

Court orders agency to release data related to 1965 UFO sightings

(Newser) - A court has ordered NASA to release info relating to a UFO sighting 42 years ago in Kecksburg, Pa. Several witnesses say they saw the crash of a large object, which soldiers then carted off. The Chicago Tribune probes the case, in which a freelance journalist sued NASA under the... More »

Clintons Keep White House Papers Buried

Hillary's documents unlikely to see daylight before 2008 election

(Newser) - People curious about Hillary Clinton’s role in her husband’s White House won’t find anything helpful in his presidential library, Newsweek reports. Less than 1% of the 98 million documents and emails there are public, though all are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Bill Clinton instructed... More »

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