Journalism in the Public Interest

Government Cans Proposal to Hide Records

Controversial FOIA proposal would have allowed the government to say certain records didn’t exist, even if they did. The Department of Justice has pulled that proposal.



Last week, we reported that a proposed Freedom of Information Act rule from the U.S. Department of Justice would allow agencies to tell requesters of certain law-enforcement or national security records that the information did not exist -- even if it did.

The measure riled open-government advocates and some members of Congress, who have pushed for greater federal transparency.

Thursday, DOJ said it had withdrawn the measure from its final regulations.

In a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, one of several members of Congress who had questioned the proposal, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said that the measure would not be included in the DOJ's final rule.

"The Justice Department decided that misleading the American people would be wrong, and made the right decision to pull the proposed regulation," Sen. Grassley said in a statement.

The Justice Department has not set a date for when it plans to release its final regulations.

Barry Schmittou

Nov. 4, 2011, 12:47 p.m.

Senator Grassley and Senator Sanders,

The Justice Department continues to endanger many lives by “misleading the American people” !!

(Your offices will be notified of this urgent request for help immediately)

Obama and his DOJ and SEC Directors protected Wachovia banks laundering of $378 billion for murderous drug cartels.

Drug money seems to control many banks, the DOJ does nothing to stop them !!

Here’s a United Nations quote from England’s Guardian Observer News:

“At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the United Nations office on drugs and crime, said he had evidence to suggest the proceeds from drugs and crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks on the brink of collapse. “Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade,” he said. “There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.”

** See a Federal Court filing with this evidence received by Obama and Holder by pasting :

Here is evidence of the pattern of failures and DOJ,SEC and DOL protection of deadly corporate crimes :

(1) ProPublica wrote these quotes about insurance companies destroying injured contractors lives :

“Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress. The Labor Department seldom took action to enforce the law. One official called the system a “fiasco.”

“Labor officials can recommend cases for prosecution to the Justice Department–but have only done so once in the past two decades, according to Labor officials.”

(end of quotes)

A Congressional Committee discussed the problems, but nothing has been done !!

(1) Multiple corporate crimes have been protected by Obama and Bush. In addition to Wachovia banks laundering of $378 billion please remember :

(a) Bank of America, American Express Bank International and Western Union also laundered drug money and no one was prosecuted.

(b) AIG, JP Morgan Chase, MetLife, Prudential, Unum, rigged huge bids and no one was prosecuted!!

See more by pasting :

It seems every law is repeatedly turned upside down. The governments protection of insurance companies destruction of lives and laws is so severe two professor’s wrote these quotes :

Joseph Belth, Professor Emeritus for Insurance at Indiana University wrote :

“They’ve turned Erisa on its head,”  “It was supposed to protect employees, and it’s being used to protect insurers.”

John Marshall Law School Professor Mark Debofsky wrote:

“empirical evidence is now available that shows insurers operating under ERISA have systematically engaged in the wrongful denial of claims. Cases of abusive benefit denials involving other disability insurers abound.

Quotes from Numerous Federal Court Judges prove insurance company doctors’ ignore life threatening medical conditions including Brain lesions and Multiple Sclerosis, cardiac conditions of many patients, and a foot that a new mother broke in 5 places.

The Judges quotes can be seen by pasting :

Multiple insurers also committed identical crimes in five different types of insurance while Obama and Bush protected them, as seen by pasting :
WFAA – TV in Dallas Texas Wrote :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care.”

( During the time period of the suicides AIG rigged billions of dollars in bids to increase sales of Workers Comp policies; No one was prosecuted by Bush and Obama will not investigate !! )

I respect those who do not believe the overwhelming evidence of corruption is of Biblical proportions. For those who think it is, the Bible has many quotes about seeking justice including Psalm 82:3 :

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”

I hope people of all faiths and non believers will work together to try to stop the destruction of our world.

I believe our nation is being destroyed by criminals in every area of government and big businesses, and I believe we should always remember the pattern of organized crimes when we are talking about mortgages, banking and stock fraud, or insurance fraud that destroys thousands of lives.

Senator Grassley and Senator Sanders, please do something to help stop this pattern of crimes. Without your help our only hope is to pray that an average citizen on a local or Federal Grand jury will seek indictments soon, and be able to overcome the blockades presented by the DOJ and U.S. Attorneys offices.

margaret beresford

Nov. 4, 2011, 3:26 p.m.

I don’t think I can be shocked anymore even by quotes like your article gives, such as “the Justice Dept has decided that misleading the American Public would be wrong”.  I don’t know if that level of self absorbed indifference speaks to stupidity or arrogance maybe delusions of power in a realm where voting becomes exercises in social niceties with little meaning or necessity.  I feel most would want to now consider paying taxes for some thing more legitimate in actual practice.

This is good news. The Freedom of Information Act is one of the most important ones we have. Without it we never would have gotten the truth about who got the bailout money.

I knew if I lived long enough Senator Chuck Grassley would accomplish something that might be helpful to the general welfare.

Sorry to be the jaded New Yorker, but I can’t help but assume that this means it’ll be introduced under another name or mixed in with some other, larger bill that nobody will read.

Consider that the PROTECT IP Act originally referred to “blacklists” of domains (to be purged from search results, funding routes cut, and blocked from access), but now they just describe it and claim that there’s no blacklist, since the word isn’t used.

I mean, it’s nice that they’ve retreated, but I can’t help hearing it like a TV villain:  “You’ve won this time, but I’ll be back!”  As Margaret points out, Grassley’s comment is rather clear in implying that “right” and “wrong” are subject to reconsideration.

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