State Department Won’t Release Clinton Emails About Controversial Trade Deal Until After 2016 Election

J.K. Trotter · 06/07/16 11:10AM

Last year, International Business Times reporter David Sirota filed a Freedom of Information Act request for emails between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the United States Trade Representative, a federal agency concerned with negotiating international trade policy, in which the two offices discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a widely-criticized pact among the United States and eleven other countries, including Australia, Canada, and Mexico. Last week, the State Department notified Sirota about the progress of his request: The agency would not provide the emails until the end of November—three weeks after the 2016 presidential election.

State Department Finds Thousands of Philippe Reines Emails It Claimed Did Not Exist

J.K. Trotter · 08/17/15 11:30AM

Earlier this year, Gawker Media sued the State Department over its response to a Freedom of Information Act request we filed in 2013, in which we sought emails exchanged between reporters at 33 news outlets and Philippe Reines, the former deputy assistant secretary of state and aggressive defender of Hillary Clinton. Over two years ago, the department claimed that “no records responsive to your request were located”—a baffling assertion, given Reines’ well-documented correspondence with journalists. Late last week, however, the State Department came up with a very different answer: It had located an estimated 17,000 emails responsive to Gawker’s request.

The FOIA Training Video That the Pentagon Redacted

John Cook · 03/21/14 03:46PM

In 2001, the Pentagon produced a strange training video, for internal use and at a cost of more than $70,000, designed to teach civilian and military employees how the Freedom of Information Act works. It was comically dumb, featuring a noir private detective in a hack Humphrey Bogart accent navigating a World War II-era spy scenario, occasionally looking to the camera and delivering FOIA-based tips. When researchers tried to obtain a copy under the FOIA itself, the Pentagon took 18 months to release it, and redacted portions. Here it is.

Here Is a List of All the Assholes Handsome Law-Abiding Citizens Who Own Guns Some People in New York City

John Cook · 01/08/13 03:10PM

Last month, the Journal News sparked a firestorm of protest when it published a mappable database of every licensed gun owner in Westchester and Rockland counties, north of New York City. The paper obtained the data—which New York state law explicitly and unambiguously demands be made public—through open records requests. The reaction was swift and furious—gun rights and privacy advocates published the names and addresses of the paper's editors in retaliation, and the paper (ironically) hired armed guards to protect against threats.

Karl Rove Loves the Freedom of Information Act Now

John Cook · 03/23/11 11:12AM

Fat asshole Karl Rove, who helped design and maintain the most contemptuous and opaque presidential administration since Richard Nixon's, loves transparency now that a black Democrat is charge. So he's launched a clearinghouse for documents obtained through the FOIA.