July 05, 2007

 

Happy Birthday FOIA

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I couldn't post yesterday (see me after class for a complete list of excuses for the week) as I was standing guard, water hose in hand, keeping vigil against my house burning down at the hands of drunken young redneck neighbors. Damn if I'm not that guy I used to laugh at.

But today I get to another notable national birthday on July 4, that of the Freedom Of Information Act, known in jargonese as FOIA (I don't know why 'of' gets in on the acronym action. Government thing I guess). Yes, the FOIA is 40, and ACLU executive director and chief brainiac Anthony D. Romero writes about her mid-life crisis in HuffPo.

The Act can trace its origins to the time of Joe McCarthy. In March 1954, newsman Edward R. Murrow set into motion the downfall of the demagogue senator, using McCarthy's own words to show America his dark side.

Murrow warned that McCarthyism was a symptom of a disease, not the disease itself. National security concerns about Soviet espionage and global expansion were building into wildfires of public hysteria. Farmers in the Midwest, socialites in New York -- all were terrified of the Red Menace, a terror made even more acute by the advent of nuclear weapons.

Frightening times, I'm sure. Then and now seem pretty cozy. Of course one of mankind's favorite pastimes is predicting its demise, and 10 years probably never passes anywhere in the world without some good freak out to get the juices flowing.

So within a decade of McCarthy's death Lyndon Johnson gives up fighting Congress and signs onto FOIA. Of course it's become a mess, and the Act is hobbled further with White House Resident Bush (its a longer, insult-free title I can live with) giving it the Nancy Kerrigan treatment with his 9-11 tire iron.

To the rescue are some libertarianish Republican Senators with the Open Government Act.

The bill would require the government to create a tracking system for FOIA requests and would provide greater specificity in how the agencies may redact or exempt documents from disclosure.

I wish them all the best, as apparently one of their own is playing footsie with it in committee (damn but are they going to get anything done?). Beyond giving them the BOTD I guess until I look at the damn thing or hope to have it explained to me on C-SPAN, all I'm gonna be able to envision filed under examples of "greater specificity" is this:



Comprehensive Report
of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD



Contents

Who .................................................................................................. 2

Saddam ............................................................................ ................ 3

Saddam...................................................... ....................................... 41

Saddam ____________________________.................................... 50

Saddam’s .......................................................................................... 59

A Few Key Players in the .................................................................. 66

Saddam’s effect on ............................................................................ 68

How Saddam .................................................................................... 104

The .................................................................................................... 109

His version of .............................. and its importance......................... 138

How Saddam .................................................................................... 212

His view on ...................................................................................... 219

His view on ....................................................................................... 238

His views on ................ and Ted ...................................................... 240

Key Findings .................................................................................... ___



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Comments:
Someone needs to save us from all the integrity that's been brought back to the Oval Office, and soon.
 
Informative and a nancy kerrigan gag slipped in, great stuff.
 
Wow, I'm older than the FOIA. Long live me and the FOIA!
 
You know, I keep coming back here and wanting to comment. Then I realize that I have nothing better to add and I go away. So, this time I'm just going to add this.:)

Aren't you glad I stopped?


word verification: ubqawgiu

(Damn you, Blogger!)
 
Crap. That was supposed to say Jennyjinx and take you to my website and stuff.

Blogger...grrr...freak...
 
Yes, the report will look like that alright.... Truth? We can't handle the truth!
 
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