Court Permits CIA to Withhold Historic President's Daily Briefs
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
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis
- A history professor explains why Americans are so prone to conspiracy theories
- Now Greg Grandin has come out with a study of Henry Kissinger
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'