For their eyes only

We begin with this:

In a recent case brought by the ACLU of Southern California, the FBI denied the existence of documents. But the court later discovered that the documents did exist. In an amended order, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney wrote that the “Government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the Court.”

The most transparent Administration in history now replies “Yes, we can”:

A proposed rule to the Freedom of Information Act would allow federal agencies to tell people requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don’t exist — even when they do.

Under current FOIA practice, the government may withhold information and issue what’s known as a Glomar denial that says it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records.

The new proposal — part of a lengthy rule revision by the Department of Justice — would direct government agencies to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”

This is of course wonderful, if you’re a lying sack of shit: previously you could deny lying, or that whole “shit” part, but now you don’t even have to admit to the existence of a sack. No wonder Justice is embracing the concept.

At this point, we’re going to have to nuke DOJ from orbit.

(Via this Poynter tweet, pushed forward by Don Mecoy.)


  1. McGehee »

    24 October 2011 · 10:12 pm

    We’ll have to sell tickets to raffle off the right to push the button.

    Do you think $10,000 is too cheap?

  2. Jeffro »

    24 October 2011 · 10:27 pm

    Out. Of. Control.

  3. Nicole »

    25 October 2011 · 7:49 pm

    So this effectively nullifies the FOIA. Lovely.

  4. Bayou Renaissance Man »

    27 October 2011 · 9:12 pm

    Is the US government giving ITSELF permission to lie to us?…

    I find this deeply disturbing. For government bureaucrats to want to give themselves permission to lie to us, the citizens whose consent is necessary for any organization to govern us . . . that’s unconscionable!…

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