Determination of Appeal Review

On March 9, 2015 ▲Church appealed adverse determination by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis denying access to information pertaining to Pursuit Lead Cables.  ▲Church appealed this decision to the Associate General Counsel of Homeland Security.

▲Church learned the Department of Homeland Security issued Pursuit Lead Cables while conducting its research for White Paper on Security.  After telephoning the Department of Homeland Security, on August 11, 2014 ▲Church filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents on Pursuit Lead Cables.  Seeking answers about the procedure, filing an FOIA request, and speculating constitutionality of the practice, ▲Church finally received a response from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis on January 13, 2015 claiming the documents were exempt in the interest of national intelligence.

With no information about Pursuit Lead Cables appearing anywhere else, ▲Church appealed the Office of Intelligence and Analysis’ final response.  His first day in Office President Obama issued a memorandum stating Freedom of Information Act requests should be handled with a clear presumption in the face of doubt openness prevails.  However I&A’s determination of 2014-IAFO-0246 was affirmed because these documents are classified.

FOIA APPEAL Number: 2015-HQAP-00091

Determination of Appeal, FOIA 2015-HQAP-00091 (page 2)

FOIA APPEAL Number: 2015-HQAP-00091

Determination of Appeal, FOIA 2015-HQAP-00091 (page 1)

Acting on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security General Counsel, as the result of a memorandum of agreement, the United States Coast Guard rendered a decision on FOIA Appeal 2015-HQAP-00091.  The Office of the Administrative Law Judge decided documents including Pursuit Lead Cable were classified and therefore Homeland Security’s decision to withhold the records from requesters has been affirmed in a two-paged letter (link to page two).

Pursuant 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B) the only recourse is to file a complaint in U.S. District Court for relief from Homeland Security requesting it release agency records.

▲Church’s appeal to the Associate General Counsel of Homeland Security for records pertaining to Cable was determined by the U.S. Coastguard Chief Administrative Law Judge, and Intelligence and Analysis’ decision to deny these documents from Freedom of Information Act disclosure was upheld in a letter dated July 28, 2016.

Obama Directs “Sunshine”

On his first day in Office President Barack Hussein Obama directed the U.S. Attorney General to issue new guidelines for heads of Executive Departments and Agencies governing 5 U.S.C. 552, The Freedom of Information Act. Barack Hussein Obama reaffirmed a commitment to public accountability and transparency before ruling The United States. And Americans believed this President’s rhetorical serenade.

Consent in a constitutional democracy to be governed is not meaningful, a 110th Congress of The United States found, unless it is informed. President Obama adopted a presumption in favor of disclosing information so Americans could understand administration of their so-called self-government headed by a popular sovereign.

Though U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote in 1959 leading enactment of the Freedom of Information Act, “The effective functioning of a free government like ours depends largely on the force of an informed public (which) calls for the widest possible understanding” of its practices, fifty years later Barack Obama noted his “presumption of disclosure” would “usher in a new era of open government.”  Barack Obama committed all federal agencies to principles embodied by The Freedom of Information Act: transparency, participation, and collaboration form the cornerstone of open-government, promote accountability, and provide information about what Government is doing. Continue reading