Court Permits CIA to Withhold Historic President's Daily BriefsBreaking News
In a lawsuit brought by Professor Larry Berman, a professor of Political Science at U.C. Davis and the author of Perfect Spy: The Extraordinary Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter & Vietnamese Communist Agent (Smithsonian-Harper Collins 2007), the Court concluded that revelation of the two 40-year-old PDBs could hinder the CIA’s current efforts to recruit sources. Nonetheless, the Court noted that the CIA’s assertions in that regard would become less plausible with the passage of time. The Court further made clear that PDBs are not “categorically exempt from FOIA.”
The Court also rejected a novel argument put forth by the CIA that the well documented practice of briefing the President itself is an intelligence method that would permit all PDBs to be withheld in whole. Instead, the Court reaffirmed that the CIA has an obligation to “provide a specific justification that explains why the particular document requested” fits within the exemption.
“While we are disappointed that the Court did not order disclosure of the two PDBs, because we suspect their content is innocuous, at least the CIA must end its practice of categorically refusing to release all PDBs,” commented National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs. “Our goal in this litigation was to force the agency to conduct a genuine review and assess the true sensitivity of each document. We hope the Agency will take the Court’s analysis to heart and do the right thing in the future.”
Professor Berman was represented jointly by the Archive and by Thomas R. Burke and Duffy Carolan of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in San Francisco, CA.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age
- ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- NYT publishes historians' plea for the revival of political history
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum