CIA: Drones Document Count Would Damage National SecurityThe CIA admitted late Friday it has a number of documents about drones, but told a federal court that disclosing even the number of documents it possessed would damage national security.
The disclosure came around 11:00 p.m., hours after President Barack Obama held a press conference promising more transparency around national security issues.
Government lawyers contended in the filing that providing additional information about the CIA's drones documents, as requested in American Civil Liberties Union v. Central Intelligence Agency, one of several drone-related lawsuits the ACLU has filed against the federal government, would imperil the homeland.
"In light of recent official disclosures about targeted lethal operations, and in accordance with the opinion of the D.C. Circuit, the CIA has now acknowledged that it has a general intelligence interest in this topic and possesses records responsive to the ACLU request," the government wrote. "However, the CIA has determined that it cannot provide additional information about its responsive records without revealing classified material or statutorily-protected information related to intelligence activities, sources and methods and/or Agency functions."
Another source: CIA refuses to release drone documents - Salon.com
Why even have FOIA when governmental agencies like the C.I.A. can just refuse to hand over the documents (information) even when compelled by a judge. It is beyond ridiculous that the government can stonewall the ACLU (and therefore us) like this. Worse yet, people tolerate it and don't get upset. Funny enough, people actually believe President Obama when he said his administration would be transparent.As Salon noted in March,a D.C. federal appeals court sided with the ACLU in ruling that the CIA could no longer refuse to respond to FOIA requests about its drone programs on secrecy grounds, as the existence of the “targeted” killing program had already been publicly discussed by officials.
Despite this ruling, and a full three years since the ACLU originally filed a FOIA request for basic information on the CIA’s drone program, the agency continues to push back on making information public.