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Obama Administration to Cheney: Request Denied

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 12:22 PM
Original message
Obama Administration to Cheney: Request Denied
Edited on Thu May-14-09 01:02 PM by sabra
Source: Weekly Standard - Stephen Hayes

The Obama administration has turned down former Vice President Dick Cheneys request for the declassification of two CIA reports on the effectiveness of the Agencys detainee program, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned. A letter dated May 7, 2009, from the CIAs Information and Privacy Coordinator, Delores M. Nelson, rejected Cheneys request because the documents he has requested are involved in a Freedom of Information Act court battle.

In researching the information in question, we have discovered that it is currently the subject of pending FOIA litigation (Bloche v. Department of Defense, Amnesty International v. Central Intelligence Agency). Therefore, the document is excluded from Mandatory Declassification Review, Nelson wrote in the letter to the National Archives, the agency responsible for handling Cheneys request.

The rejection of Cheneys request will almost certainly intensify the public back-and-forth between the former vice president and the current administration. The contentious debate over enhanced interrogation exploded on April 16, when Obama authorized the release of four memos on interrogation prepared by the Bush Justice Departments Office of Legal Counsel. In a statement accompanying the release, Obama pointed to exceptional circumstances surrounding the memos that required their declassification and release. Four days later, in an interview on Fox News, Cheney revealed that he had requested the declassification of two memos that demonstrate that the techniques were effective.

White House officials have told reporters and members of Congress that the Cheney memos do not bolster the case for enhanced interrogation, as Cheney has suggested. But they have nonetheless refused to release them. President Obama has the legal authority to declassify the documents with the wave of his hand, according to one expert.

...

A senior Bush administration official points to the irony of Obama administrations position -- using a FOIA technicality to block the public disclosure of information.

So, because Amnesty International has filed a broad FOIA request for detainee related materials, the American people are unable to see memos that document the effectiveness of our detainee program. Wouldnt the legal memos previously released also, presumably, have been subject to this FOIA? Why wasnt their release blocked under the same provision?

Read more: http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/05/che...



update - Politico has the letter:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0509/CIA_reje...


Mr. Stephannie Oriabure, Archivist
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20408-0001

Reference: EOM-2009-00573 / NLMS 2009-001 (Cheney, Richard B.)

Dear Ms. Oriabure:

Your facsimile of 21 April 2009 referred one document to this agency responding to the referenced Executive Order 12958 Mandatory Declassification Review request. I have enclosed a copy of your correspondence at Tab A.

As you are aware, a request for Mandatory Declassification Review is governed by Executive Order 12958, as amended, which was signed and executed by the President on March 25, 2003. Under section 3.5.(a)(3) of that Executive Order, a document is excluded from Mandatory Declassification Review if that document contains information that is the subject of pending litigation. This provision ensures that the Mandatory Declassification Review process is not used to disrupt simultaneous litigation proceedings that are already pending. In researching the information in question, we have discovered that it is currently the subject of pending FOIA litigation (Bloche v. Department of Defense, Amnesty International v. Central Intelligence Agency). Therefore, the requested document, which contains this information, is excluded from Mandatory Declassification Review.

The requester may appeal my decision to the Agency Release Panel, in my care, within 45 days from the date of this letter. He may send his appeal to:

Agency Release Panel
c/o Information and Privacy Coordinator
Central Intelligence Agency
Washington, D.C. 20505.


Sincerely,

// s //

Delores M. Nelson
Information and Privacy Coordinator
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. I hope he gets what he wants..
and Amnesty International gets what they want.
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Justitia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. source: Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard?? Are you kidding??
I just love the slant here - "Obama" turned it down.

If this wasn't a RW rag, it would tell the truth - the CIA turned it down.
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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Politco (not much better, now has the CIA letter posted)
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. It's hilarious: an earlier FOIA request, turned down by the prior administration, is now in
litigation; so naturally, Cheney's request for a subset of the same documents, can't be honored until the litigation is resolved -- an issue that would not now arise, had the prior administration honored the earlier FOIA request. I'd bet that, if the whole story were told, Cheney played some role in the anti-FOIA attitudes that prevented the earlier FOIA request from being honored. The Weekly Standard, of course, has no integrity whatsoever
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. If it was a blocked FOIA request, that would have
been the Bush administration (Cheney) that was blocking its release. Poetic justice maybe..hmmmmm?
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. Meanwhile our tax dollars still fund war criminal Jay Bybee
as he sits in his almighty robe and laughingly thumbs his nose at the American legal system and the rule of law.

America is every bit as fucked up as a football bat!
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
6.  CIA denies Cheney request on interrogations
... In a written statement, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said ... "This request was handled in accordance with normal practice by CIA professionals with long experience in information management and release. It was for them a straightforward issue" ... http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/14/cheney.torture/
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hugo_from_TN Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. These memos all need to be released.
Blocking it makes it look like Cheney is right and they don't want it out.
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