Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, FOIA! You Suck.

Threat Level - Wired Blogs

"One of the most important oversight tools available to the American citizen, FOIA is mired in staggering bureaucracy. An enormous backlog of FOIA requests exists at most agencies, which often ignore the mandatory 20-day response the law requires. Sometimes they ignore it for 15 years or more, as a new report (.pdf) by George Washington University's National Security Archive and the Knight Foundation reveals."

"Ten other agencies misreported their oldest pending requests and five agencies (State, Air Force, CIA, and the criminal division and FBI at the Justice Department) have requests that date back 15 years or more. Last week, the CIA released its "family jewels" documents because of a National Security Archive request 15 years ago. The released files detail CIA attempts to assassinate heads of state, secret LSD tests gone wrong, illegal spying on Americans and a range of other nastiness. At the time, the CIA said this was the oldest pending FOIA request at the agency. Not so, according to the FOIA report, which has uncovered a request from July 1989 asking for information on Manucher Ghorbanifar and Iran-Contra."

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