Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Spy Games

The CIA deceives our nation's enemies, which is a good thing.
But it better draw the line at federal judges.
On Tuesday, in what can only be described as a judicial spanking, D.C.-based U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler denounced the CIA's "highly misleading representations" and "extraordinary misbehavior" in a Freedom of Information Act case filed by the National Security Archive. Kessler, who sounds awfully ticked to me, further declared that the CIA's "past actions strongly suggest that their alleged misconduct will recur;" consequently, she emphatically sided with the archive in its revived lawsuit.

The case arises from the National Security Archive's efforts to be treated as a news media organization for the purpose of filing FOIA requests. The CIA twice agreed to do so. The CIA agreed to treat the archive as a news media organization, wrote a letter apologizing for not doing so -- and then, Kessler noted, "immediately resumed its practice of denying the archive news media status." Since the CIA can't be trusted to do the right thing on its own, Kessler concluded, she agreed to revive the archive's original lawsuit and order the CIA to follow the law.

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