Beginning in the early ’50s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began keeping what would become an extensive file on the singer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker, tracking with great interest her comments in the international press critical of racial discrimination in the U.S. Though the Bureau never formally opened an investigation into Baker, it fielded several requests from the Immigration and Naturalization Service to collect derogatory information that would help make the case for denying her a visa and barring her entry to the country.
Austin Evers is the executive director of American Oversight, an independent watchdog that uses litigation to access documents the public is rightfully entitled to under FOIA protections. After serving as senior counsel to the State Department for transparency-related matters under the Obama Administration, Evers founded American Oversight in response to the election of President Donald Trump. Evers shared his experience in FOIA litigation and offered advice to requesters in an interview with MuckRock.
Back in 2013, MuckRock user Jasper Craven filed a FOIA request with the State Department for records regarding Dennis Rodman’s 2013 trip to North Korea. After nearly two years of processing, the agency released 18 pages of cables, almost completely redacted under the b(1) national security exemption.
Records from the CIA’s declassified CREST archives shows how Efraín Ríos Montt’s coup first took the Agency by surprise, with the U.S. government later embracing his violent counterinsurgency campaign, with Secretary of State George Shultz praising it as “impressive progress in human rights.”
With Sunshine Week just around the corner, we wanted to count down the days to our favorite time of year with a closer look at what’s going on behind the black bars: the nine federal FOIA exemptions. Today, one of the lesser-known exemptions: b(2), the … uh … lesser-known one.
Beryl Lipton sent this request to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction of the United States of America
|No response from State Department in two years|