DOJ Seeks to Dismiss Berryville Resident’s FOIA Request

Just weeks before the November presidential election, the Justice Department filed motions in U.S. District Court in Washington to prevent release of an FBI background investigation of President Obama’s loss of his American citizenship as a child growing up in Indonesia, which cleared the way for him to run for president in 2008.

On Aug. 31, a Justice Department trial unit defending the president in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Berryville resident George Archibald filed motions asking U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to keep results of the FBI’s investigation under seal and to dismiss the case.

Archibald countered by asking Judge Walton to reject the administration’s legal arguments that the FBI records are exempt from release under the FOIA because they relate to FBI investigative methods that must remain secret.

“The administration’s motion to deny this FOIA appeal prior to the presidential election is a blatant effort to block release of documents perhaps maintained according to a numbered FBI “File Classification List” of which “56 Election Laws” is included on “http://www.FBI.gov,” an official site of the U.S. Department of Justice,” Archibald stated in a response to Justice Department “Motion for Summary Judgment” submitted by Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Stuart F. Delery, head of the department’s civil division.

“The Justice Department provided a copy of the president’s Hawaii birth certificate from the same file, which the White House released last year in order to quell reports that he was born in Kenya, which would have made him ineligible to run for the presidency” Archibald argued in his response to the court.

“The remaining documents relating to his birth and citizenship issues should also be released as there should be no compromise of FBI investigative techniques or national security by having all records revealed concerning the president’s foreign background that relate to his eligibility to be in the White House,” Archibald said in his response to the Justice Department motion for summary judgment.

Archibald also filed a motion saying “the case is fully briefed” and requested the court to schedule the FOIA dispute for immediate trial.

Comments

  1. Get ’em George. And although you’re going to have a hard time overcoming the “investigative methods” exemption, there’s no reason they can’t release the report. Of course, even if they do, it’ll be just one big pile of redacted sheet after redacted sheet.

    I find it funny as well that Obama is out there demanding complete openess from Romney, but has not done the same himself. College transcripts anyone?

    So much for “transparencey”

    • I’d like to see his kindergarten records also. Did he maybe spend more time napping than the other kids? Any coloring he might have done would be helpful also. Did he stay in the lines? Did he maybe use the color “Red” just a little too much? America wants to know.

      In all seriousness, what news organization our there hasn’t played out this story? Is this really what we should be focusing on? Talk about a waste of taxpayer resources. I’m sure Justice would seek to dismiss this case. Once they stopped laughing, that is.

      • You mean his registration into the Fransiskus Assisi school in Indonesia….listing him as Indonesian and Muslim:

        http://remixxworld.blogspot.com/2009/07/president-obamas-indonesian-fransiskus.html

        verified by his little classmates who want recognition for Obama’s history there:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/08/AR2010040805858.html

      • Yes, ridicule is a wonderful weapon, which is why the Left uses it so often.

        Yes, it is a waste of taxpayer resources, for Justice to seek to dismiss this case, which is what they are doing, which you don’t seem to understand. This is an FOIA case. What is so important that Justice seeks to dismiss it? Especially since the results of this investigation cleared the way for Obama to run, according to this article? You would think Obama would be happy to let people see something that supports him? Unless, the results contradict evidence that has been found since then? Or perhaps there are differences between the birth certificate that was released from this FBI file, and the one that was posted online for all to see? That would be significant, wouldn’t it? Hardly anything to laugh about, or Obama would have no problem releasing it, would he? “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth, are people with something to hide” – Barack Hussein Obama.

      • If we have an illegal alien as president, wouldn’t you think that we should know this especially since there is so much valid information available showing that Obama is not an American citizen but someone with the mission to change America into a Socialist then Communist nation.

  2. More alarming to me is the Fast & Furious scandel. A US law enforcement officer lost his life. Yet the Obama administration invokes executive privilege to conceal information about it from congress and the American people. Would tolerate that from our local and state officials? I think not.

  3. Another View says:

    It is not a waste of taxpayer resources. It is called open government and transparency, things that Barack Hussein Obama claims to champion while campaigning, but obstructs when governing.

    Does the President have something to hide? If not, why not release the materials? If the information would cause the requester to look foolish, would that not help the President.

    This is the least vetted, most secretive President of modern times. He might not be the Manchurian Candidate, but he sure is not Mr. Smith either.

  4. Least vetted president? You’ve got to be kidding. Faux News and their ilk have tried to find anything damaging on this guy for four years. News organizations around the world have investigated this issue and found nothing substantive to the accusations.

    Does Willard (remember that rat movie from the 70s?) Romney have something to hide? Why will he not release all his tax returns? The Joe McCarthy in me says he must be hiding something.
    (Actually I could care less what he does with his money or what his name is, but these issues seem to be what people like to focus on.)

    President Obama will be vetted by the American people four years ago and will be again in two months.

    • Another View says:

      President Obama, the faux Christian, quasi-Muslim, affirmative action baby who was schooled by commies like Franklin Marshall Davis, was vetted? I do not think so. The man who routinely lies about . . . everything? The man whose Vice President is a walking gaffe machine? The man who misquotes Scripture for political purposes? How about the man who is the dumbest so-called constitutional “scholar” ever, and who works less in the White House than he did in the Senate? The thinnest resume still? This man has been vetted?

      No. I do not think so.

    • (corrected version)

      Least vetted president? You’ve got to be kidding. Faux News and their ilk have tried to find anything damaging on this guy for four years. News organizations around the world have investigated this issue and found nothing substantive to the accusations.

      Does Willard (remember that rat movie from the 70s?) Romney have something to hide? Why will he not release all his tax returns? The Joe McCarthy in me says he must be hiding something.
      (Actually I could care less what he does with his money or what his name is, but these issues seem to be what people like to focus on.)

      President Obama was vetted by the American people four years ago and will be again in two months.

    • LOL

      Why is Obama hiding his college transcripts? He’s spent $millions so far to make sure they are not released. My guess is that he failed Economics 101 three times before he finally got a D!

    • Well, vet his phony SSN….its use (as well as other #s). You don’t phony up a SSN/s if you are ANY kind of U.S. citizen. Even SSA replied with a flagged “no match”. And now the number used by Zero for years (even with an alias) doesn’t exist on data base….scrubbed. Yeah, right, all systems go for “vetting” while high powered Obama attys collect millions to hide his stuff and laugh at him all the way to the bank!

      Obots defend his fraud and do it for nothing….why not get in line for your own “pay to play” Obama filthy lucre??

    • Obama has never been vetted. In 2008 the DNC did not require Obama to admit that he is not a Natural Born Citizen. The DNC tried the same for 2012 but was informed that the DNC had to state that Obama was qualified for the presidency. So the DNC lied and stated that Obama is a Natural Born Citizen. Obama can never be a Natural Born Citizen because, among other claims, his acknowledged father was a citizen of Kenya as was Obama since he was born in Mombasa the British Protectorate of Kenya. Recently his Kenyan birth records were found in the Archives of Britain. In addition, in Indonesia in his enrollment for school he stated he was a citizen of Indonesia and a Muslim. Obama is far from qualified for the presidency.. He needs to be removed from the presidency and then tried for the large number of crimes he has committed then imprisoned.

  5. “For a long time now, there’s been too much secrecy in this city. . . . Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.” President Barack H. Obama, speaking of his new transparency and Freedom of Information Act directives at their signing ceremony (Jan. 21, 2009).

    “[We must consider] effective measures to address the problem of over classification [sic], including the possible restoration of the presumption against classification, which would preclude classification of information where there is significant doubt about the need for such classification, and the implementation of increased accountability for classification decisions.” President Obama’s Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies Regarding Classified Information (May 27, 2009).

    “The Office of Administration, whose sole function is to advise and assist the President, and which has no substantial independent authority, is not subject to FOIA and related authorities.” White House Office of Administration Web Site, as of July 2009.

    “The court of appeals in this FOIA case has ordered the disclosure of photographs related to allegations of abuse and mistreatment of detainees in United States custody, notwithstanding the professional judgment of the Nation’s top military officers — confirmed by the President of the United States — that disclosure could reasonably be expected to endanger the lives and safety of United States and Coalition forces and civilian personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Review by this Court is necessary to prevent that danger.” Petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed by Solicitor General in United States Department of Defense v. ACLU, No. 09-160 (filed Aug. 7, 2009) (invoking Exemption 7(F) of the FOIA).

    “Transparency is hard.” Robynn K. Sturm, Assistant Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Deputy Director, White House Open Government Initiative, speaking on behalf of the Obama Administration of its efforts toward government openness at CGS’s “Transparency in the Obama Administration: A First-Year Assessment” program (Jan. 20, 2010

    “It takes more than a year to turn the battleship.” White House “Transparency Czar” and Special Counsel to the President Norman L. Eisen, at CGS’s “Third Annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration” (Mar. 16, 2010).

    “The statistics that you have cited are indeed troubling. I’m not exactly sure what the reason is. But I think it requires further examination . . . .” Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., responding to question from Sen. Charles Grassley based on Associated Press analysis of FY 2009 annual FOIA reports in testimony before Senate Judiciary Committee (Apr. 14, 2010).

    “The Open Government process is our new paradigm.” Beth S. Noveck, United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Director, White House Open Government Initiative, summarizing why she says prospective FOIA requesters should instead “write to the Open Government person,” because “of course if you [make a FOIA request] you’re gonna wait months and months and months and they’re not gonna get back to you . . . that’s how FOIA works.” Speech to the American Constitution Society (Nov. 15, 2010).

    “Secrecy is not over.” OMB Watch Executive Director Gary D. Bass, summarizing the first two years of Obama Administration transparency effort at CGS’s “Transparency in the Obama Administration — A Second-Year Assessment” program (Jan. 20, 2011).

    “Regardless of whether FOIA requests are subject to the same rules governing discovery requests, Rule 34 [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure] surely should inform highly experienced litigators as to what is expected of them when making a document production in the twenty-first century. . . . common sense dictates that parties incorporate the spirit, if not the letter, of the discovery rules in the course of FOIA litigation.” United States District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, ruling that a FOIA requester is entitled to receive “metadata,” “load files,” and other forms of “electronically stored information” in National Day Laborer Organization Network v. United States Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency, No. 10 Civ. 3488 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2011), subsequently withdrawn due to settlement (S.D.N.Y. June 17, 2011).

    “If this is transparency, who needs it?” Steven Aftergood, Director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, speaking of the Obama Administration’s White House visitor log policy, the results of which he labeled “very thin gruel” (Apr. 13, 2011).

    “A White House official conceded the system has limitations, asserting it was designed not as an archive but ‘first and foremost to protect the first family, second family and White House staff while imposing the smallest administrative burden possible.'” POLITICO, “White House Visitor Logs Leave Out Many” (Apr. 15, 2011).

    “A report released by the National Security Archive found that only about half of the Federal agencies surveyed have taken concrete steps to update their FOIA policies in light of the President’s reforms. According to the Department of Justice’s Annual FOIA Report for FY 2010, more than 69,000 FOIA requests remain backlogged across our Government. These delays are simply unacceptable.” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, on the 45th anniversary of the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (July 4, 2011).

    “[White House visitor log records] are properly considered ‘agency records’ subject to FOIA.” United States District Judge Beryl A. Howell, rejecting Bush Administration position counterintuitively continued during Obama Administration, in Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Secret Serv., No. 09-2312, slip op. at 14 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2011).

    It’s not often that the liberal American Civil Liberties Union and conservative Judicial Watch agree on anything, but the Obama administration’s lack of transparency has brought the two together.” Washington Examiner editorial reacting to the Justice Department’s utterly inexplicable decision to propose a FOIA regulation on the subject of record exclusions (Oct. 31, 2011).

    “Ergo, DOJ is now saying that if you request information about an investigation into yourself (or an informant or a broad range of classified intelligence information), they can first lie and say they don’t have those records, and then quickly destroy them, in case a judge deems them responsive after all.” Conclusion reached by single commenter (Emptywheel, under heading “This FOIA Request Will Self-Destruct in 10 Seconds”), albeit without specific reference to new language in proposed regulation subsections 16.4(a) and 16.9 (Nov. 15, 2011).

    “More than a week after media reports revealed that proposed Office of Government and Information Services [OGIS] recommendations to improve federal Freedom of Information Act implementation have been awaiting the Office of Management and Budget’s approval for nine months, OMB has taken no further public action, although discussions about the recommendations are allegedly ongoing.” Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, “FOIA Recommendations Still Awaiting Approval” (Dec. 2, 2011).

    “The notion that my White House would purposefully release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong.” President Barack Obama, speaking of current “leaks” controversies firmly but carefully (i.e., with the qualifiers “White House,” “purposefully,” and “classified”) at a White House News Conference (June 8, 2012).

    The last one is telling. Funny, you can’t find anything out about Obama but he surely is quick to release details of teh Bin Laden raid.

    Thanks for telling the world about about our stealth chopper, Barry.

  6. Don’t you think if it were true the right wing would have trotted it out years ago? I mean, there are a lot better investigative reporters out there than George. Possibly even some that are more rabid in their hatred for Obama.

    • The far right can’t raise these questions in an effective way. Media filters, no political support and marginalized to “birtherism “, assures that.

  7. Fly on the wall says:

    This comes across more and more as nothing more than a former newshound trying to prove he’s an equal to Bob Woodward. Sadly, he continues to come up short. While it’s certainly his right to file these frivolous things and waste his money, he’s not unlike another B’ville denizen who showed a propensity for frivolous suits…and has accomplished about as much with them.

  8. It’s funny how one editorial has a leaves a few all giddy and falling over themselves, and another one has them sour. Totally blinded by hatred..

    BTW, four more years for the Hussein!

  9. This Administration was quick to release the identity of, Seal Team Six, the organization the got Osama Bin-Laden. Many in that group died after a subsequent attack on the helicopter the were in. Coincidence? You decide.

  10. The FBI’s secret investigative methods? Really?

    That’s the best that the DoJ could come up with?

    Ok – I’m not for or against Obama at this point. I’m just laughing at the DoJ’s reaction to a FOIA request. The FBI and pretty much any other government agency subject to FOIA routinely redact any classified, confidential, secret or other protected information from documents.

    Why not just send the guy heavily redacted files? So what if he gets basically sheets of paper that are blacked out? Would that not have been a better course than the DoJ giving legitimacy to something they are trying to say is not legitimate?

    These are the actions that cause people to think that someone is hiding something.

    Apart from that, if the FBI file does indeed vet Obama as a citizen then simply redact the classified techniques used to obtain the information and still release the information showing he’s a citizen. Far less drama and it will shut everyone up.

    • They release things on Senators and Congressmen all the time. That’s the way it’s suposed to work with public officials. They may hold back some of the questions they asked him. And they may hold back some of the answers. Everthing else on Obama should be releaseable, with the exception of personal items, like which ever social security number he gave the FBI.

      But to deny the entire report is out of the ordinary for FOIA releases

  11. Roscoe Evans says:

    George is a fun guy, but, a little too skewed for my tastes. My guess, this is not going to be quite as robust a journalistic or legal enterprise as chasing a naked Barney Frank around a Capitol Hill swimming pool was for old George.

    I look forward to seeing how his other legal venture works out, too. I understand he’s suing a Berryville coffee shop for tossing him out. My guess, that plot turns and twists until its made into a movie. George Clooney, no doubt will play our local George.