Obama Administration Still Keeping Much Secret About Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 2:10 pm

The Justice Department released two memos on the authorization of warrantless wiretapping, as part of the top secret program, Stellar Wind. The memos were created during President George W. Bush’s administration and contain the “legal justification” for electronic surveillance without a warrant. However, one of the me was previously provided with significant redactions to the ACLU in March 2011. It remains heavily censored.

The memo was written by former Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) head and lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, and is dated May 6, 2004.

As ACLU staff attorney Patrick Toomey told The Washington Post, “What these memos show is that nearly three years after President Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ emails and phone calls, government lawyers were still struggling to put the program on sound legal footing.”

 

Court: Releasing Images of Guantanamo Prisoner Would Incite Violence, Especially Since He Was Tortured

By: Wednesday September 3, 2014 4:15 pm

A federal appeals court has ruled that the United States government can keep video and photos of high-profile Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohammed al-Qahtani secret because it is well-known that he was tortured and abused and any future release of information depicting him could be used by terrorist groups to incite anti-American violence.

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. At issue are at least 58 FBI videos “depicting Qahtani’s activities in his cell and his interactions” with Defense Department personnel. There are also two videos showing “forced cell extractions,” where Qahtani was likely removed from his cell in an abusive or aggressive manner, two videos showing “document intelligence debriefings” and “six mugshots” of Qahtani.

DoJ Memo Justifies Killing Anwar al-Awlaki by Citing US Law Enforcement’s Right to Use Deadly Force

By: Saturday August 16, 2014 7:51 am

As a result of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times, President Barack Obama’s administration has released the first memo authored by federal appeals court judge and former Office of Legal Counsel lawyer David Barron to justify the killing of US citizen and terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki.

FDL Exclusive: DOJ Says Smarter Sentencing Act Would Save Taxpayers $24 Billion

By: Friday July 25, 2014 8:49 am

The Department of Justice has responded to a Freedom of Information Act request from FDL News for documents estimating the costs that the federal government will not have to incur if the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 is passed.

Police Conspire with US Marshal’s Service to Hide Evidence of ‘StingRay’ Surveillance

By: Friday June 20, 2014 8:52 am

Local police in Florida are essentially conspiring with the US Marshal’s Service to keep details related to their use of cell phone tracking devices in criminal investigations secret, according to internal emails from the Sarasota Police Department released to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Court: No Matter How Long Ago It Happened, CIA Can Keep Final Volume of Bay of Pigs History Secret

By: Tuesday May 20, 2014 5:45 pm

A federal appeals court has ruled against the release of the final volume of CIA history of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. It decided the agency could keep it secret under an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that is supposed to protect inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters from being subject to release.

Justice Department: Release of WikiLeaks Records Could Harm ‘Pending Future Prosecution’

By: Tuesday May 20, 2014 7:56 am

The United States Justice Department has indicated in a lawsuit involving a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that records related to WikiLeaks must remain secret because the release may “cause articulable harm” to an ongoing Justice Department and FBI criminal investigation and “pending future prosecution.”

State Dept. Has Lowest Ranking in Government for FOIA Request Replies

By: Tuesday May 13, 2014 10:22 am

One of the better ideas of modern government in America was the creation in 1966, and amendment in 1974, of the Freedom of Information Act. The concept behind it dates right back to the Founding– people in a democracy must know what their government is doing in their names. Such an informed citizenry (in Jefferson’s [...]

When Journalists Oppose Using Leaked Documents But Favor Relying on Statements from Anonymous Officials

By: Wednesday May 7, 2014 11:56 am

According to the survey by David Weaver and Lars Willnat, “The percentage of US journalists endorsing the occasional use of ‘confidential business or government documents without authorization’ dropped significantly from 81.8 percent in 1992 to 57.7 percent in 2013.”

US Drops in Press Freedom Ranking as Result of Interfering with Reporting on National Security Issues

By: Thursday May 1, 2014 2:08 pm

While the United States government is not shooting and killing journalists, routinely withholding visas to foreign journalists or severely clamping down on online media, press freedom in the US has been declining, according to an annual report on global press freedom by Freedom House.

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