FOIA at the Mid-term: Obstacles to Transparency Remain

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on October 1, 2010

FOIA at the Mid-term: Obstacles to Transparency Remain – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), September 30, 2010

  • “When President Obama took office, he pledged to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the federal government and to transform how federal agencies handle Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Even with this fundamental policy change, however, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) – a frequent FOIA requester and litigator – has not noticed a marked change in how agencies handle FOIA requests. On the litigation front, CREW has continued to fight many of the same battles it fought under the Bush administration. For example, CREW sued the Bush Department of Justice (DOJ) for the FBI’ notes of its interview with Vice President Cheney in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak investigation, but the Obama Justice Department also refused to disclose the notes (a court eventually ordered the DOJ to release them). Similarly, Attorney General Eric Holder’s policy
    of disclosure has not translated into greater access to records that would shed light on controversial subjects, such as the policy of the Veterans Administration to purposefully underdiagnose post-traumatic stress disorder.”
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