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Bombshell: Justice Department Only Selectively Complies with Freedom of Information Act
Pajamas Media ^ | February 10, 2011 | J. Christian Anderson

Posted on 02/10/2011 7:40:36 AM PST by Kaslin

According to documents PJM has obtained, FOIA requests from liberals or politically connected civil rights groups are often given same day turn-around by the DOJ. But requests from conservatives or Republicans face long delays, if fulfilled at all. (And don't miss J. Christian Adams' PJTV interview here.)

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has even politicized compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. According to documents I have obtained, FOIA requests from liberals or politically connected civil rights groups are often given same day turn-around by the DOJ. But requests from conservatives or Republicans face long delays, if they are fulfilled at all.

The documents show a pattern of politicized compliance within the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. In particular, I have obtained FOIA logs that demonstrate as of August 2010, the most transparent administration in history is anything but. The logs provide the index number of the information request, the date of the request, the requestor, and the date of compliance.

For example, Republican election attorney Chris Ashby of LeClair Ryan made a request for the records of five submissions made under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Ashby waited nearly eight months for a response. Afterwards, Susan Somach of the “Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda,” a group headed by Rev. Joseph Lowery, made requests for 23 of the same type of records. While Ashby waited many months for five records, Somach waited only 20 days for 23 records.

Under the Obama DOJ, FOIA requests from conservative media never obtained any response from the Civil Rights Division, while National Public Radio obtained a response in five days.

In 2006, Charlie Savage, then at the not-yet-insolvent Boston Globe, requested all of the resumes of the recently hired attorneys in the Bush Civil Rights Division — including mine. DOJ leadership was convinced rushing out the resumes of dozens of lawyers far before the deadline was a good thing.

Savage apparently has never made a similar request to the Obama Justice Department, even though the inspector general has opened an investigation into political payback and discrimination under Eric Holder. I wrote at PJM:

Savage could bolster his credibility by making the same inquiries of this Justice Department as he did to the Bush DOJ. For starters, he could examine the preposterous hiring practices in the Civil Rights Division since Obama’s inauguration. The more time that passes without an inquiry from Savage and the New York Times, the more partisan his badgering of the Bush DOJ appears.

Yet Savage won the Pulitzer for attacks on the Bush administration.

In spring of 2010, Pajamas Media requested the exact same information from the DOJ that Charlie Savage requested in 2006 — except for hires made in the Obama DOJ. Recall the Bush administration turned over all the resumes of attorneys as fast as they could, and well before the statutory FOIA deadline.

PJM’s request was ignored. Then on October 13, 2010, the request was renewed by certified mail. Still, no response as required by law.

So on January 18, 2011, the case of Pajamas Media v. United States Department of Justice was filed in the United States District Court in D.C. The most transparent administration in history? Hogwash.

Don’t be fooled thinking that anyone was congratulating the DOJ’s 2006 zeal in rocketing resumes to the Boston Globe. The Bush DOJ’s eagerness to speed attorney resumes to the Boston Globe was rewarded with savage attacks. Republicans mistakenly bet that being champions of good government would earn them kudos. The only thing it earned was a kick in the teeth.

That’s not to say that anyone should have violated the FOIA, as the Obama DOJ has done with PJM’s request. But why would you grant favors to political opponents who plan to cut your throat? I suspect the current leadership of the DOJ takes that for granted. Notice they have not suffered a whiff of scrutiny until now.

The data in the FOIA logs I obtained reveal the priorities of the Civil Rights Division — transparency for friends, stonewalls for the unfriendly. Those enjoying speedy compliance with their Freedom of Information Act requests include:

– Gerry Hebert, noted free speech opponent, partisan liberal, and former career Voting Section lawyer who testified against now-Senator Jeff Sessions when he was nominated to the federal judiciary. Same day service.

Kristen Clarke, NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Clarke sought the dismissal of the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther party. Same day service.

– Ari Shapiro of National Public Radio. Five day service.

Nicholas Espiritu of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. Next day service.

Eugene Lee of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. Three day service.

– Edward DuBose, president of Georgia NAACP. Same day service.

Raul Arroyo-Mendoza of the Advancement Project. Same day service.

– Nina Perales of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. Two day service.

Tova Wang of Demos. Three day service.

– Mark Posner and Robert Kengle of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Kengle is the same former DOJ attorney who did not want to do election coverage in Mississippi where a federal court found that white voters were being discriminated against. Same day service.

– Brian Sells, formerly of the ACLU and now of the DOJ Voting Section. (Paging Charlie Savage). One day service.

Natalie Landreth, Native American Rights Fund. Same day service.

– Fred McBride, ACLU redistricting coordinator. Same day service.

– Jenigh Garrett, NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Same day service.

Joaquin Avila, well-known election law professor in Seattle who advocates for the rights of illegal aliens to vote in American elections. Next day service.

In contrast, well-known conservatives, Republicans, or political opponents had to wait many months for a response, if they ever got one:

Michael Rosman, Center for Individual Rights. Six month wait.

Jennifer Rubin (seeking records relating to employees, like Charlie Savage did). No reply at all.

– Congressman Frank Wolf. Five month wait. Wolf now chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of the DOJ budget. Oops.

– Jed Babbin, editor at Human Events. Six month wait.

– Jerry Seper, Washington Times. Six month wait.

– Jim Boulet of the English First Foundation. No reply at all.

– Jenny Small of Judicial Watch. Five month wait.

– Republican Pennsylvania state Representative Stephen Barrar. Four month wait.

Jason Torchinsky, former DOJ and now ace GOP lawyer. No reply at all.

Ben Conery, Washington Times. Five month wait.

It should be noted that the logs reveal plenty of mundane compliance to requestors of no particular note. Other times, very short delays mark a request from an administration friend. But in no instance does a conservative or Republican requestor receive a reply in the time period prescribed by law. The logs demonstrate an unmistakable pattern — friends zoom in the express lane, while foes are stuck waiting on the shoulder.

Politicized compliance with FOIA might be an administration-wide pattern. The revelation that the Obama Department of Homeland Security has politicized the FOIA process may be just the tip of the iceberg.

If so, what should we make of patterns of lawless noncompliance with the FOIA? If nothing else, it exposes the rank hypocrisy of those heady days in 2008 when transparency was a campaign promise. In the worst case, we have an administration willing to violate the law to conceal details about their governance.

Even this should outrage members of the mainstream media — unless of course they already zoom along in the DOJ information fast lane.

(Watch J. Christian Adams’ PJTV interview here.)


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: beanpickers; dojcorruption; holder; junglejim; obamacrimes; pjm; thisbudsforyou; unexpected

1 posted on 02/10/2011 7:40:42 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Sheriff Joe for AG in 12.


2 posted on 02/10/2011 7:41:53 AM PST by screaminsunshine (34 States)
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To: Kaslin

This is VERY serious criminal obstruction of justice by the Obama Regime.


3 posted on 02/10/2011 7:51:04 AM PST by FormerACLUmember (Character is defined by how we treat those who society says have no value.)
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To: screaminsunshine

You mean in 2013. The attorney General is appointed by the President, he is not elected and the election is in 2012 not this year


4 posted on 02/10/2011 7:52:32 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

Paging Rep. Issa.


5 posted on 02/10/2011 7:53:40 AM PST by snowrip (Liberal? You are a socialist idiot with no rational argument.)
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To: FormerACLUmember

It is indeed, and a impeachment of the arrogant pos and his entire administration is in order


6 posted on 02/10/2011 7:59:09 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Jet Jaguar; NorwegianViking; ExTexasRedhead; HollyB; FromLori; EricTheRed_VocalMinority; ...

The list, ping

Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list

http://www.nachumlist.com/


7 posted on 02/10/2011 8:09:25 AM PST by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: Kaslin

Man, Darrel Issa has a TON of work to do.


8 posted on 02/10/2011 8:59:00 AM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: Kaslin

Go for the FOIA penalties or cower like scared chickens.


9 posted on 02/10/2011 9:15:59 AM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: Kaslin

surprised?


10 posted on 02/10/2011 10:59:37 AM PST by dalebert
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To: All

ping-pong


11 posted on 02/10/2011 12:24:34 PM PST by rolling_stone ( *this makes Watergate look like a kiddie pool*)
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To: Kaslin

Shocker.


12 posted on 02/10/2011 2:18:42 PM PST by ronnyquest (Barack H. Obama is the Manchurian Candidate. What are you going to do about it?)
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To: Nachum; Jet Jaguar; Lady Jag; Slings and Arrows; maggief; Dog; BP2; Candor7; martin_fierro; ...

ping to repulsive slime


13 posted on 02/10/2011 7:48:14 PM PST by bitt ( ..Congress - either investigate Obama ...or yourselves, for complicity)
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To: dalebert

Unexpected


14 posted on 02/10/2011 7:51:30 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (BO + MB = BOMB -- The One will make sure they get one.)
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To: FormerACLUmember; bitt
“Obstruction of justice” was the first thing that popped into my head too. We should all be AZ and sue the federal government. If they are busy answering these, they won't have time to harass others.
15 posted on 02/10/2011 8:06:06 PM PST by hoosiermama (ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW.......I am swimming with Sarahcudah! Sarah has read the tealeaves.)
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To: bitt

Just one more good reason the filthy bastards must be out voted the next two times around. But then the Repubs on both sides of Congress and the WH will have to have their feet keep to the coals. Hopefully Issa’s committee shall perform solid investigation on the DOJ and then make them really sweat out the next two years.


16 posted on 02/10/2011 8:21:50 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned....Duncan Hunter Sr. for POTUS.)
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To: bitt

Thanks for the ping!


17 posted on 02/10/2011 8:27:18 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: bitt

Repulsive slime—pooh.


18 posted on 02/10/2011 9:05:04 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Kaslin

BTTT.


19 posted on 02/11/2011 4:36:05 AM PST by snowsislander
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To: bitt

So when are the powers that be taking them to court for compliance?

It’s maddening, really.


20 posted on 02/11/2011 6:37:15 AM PST by milford421 (U.N. OUT OF U.S.)
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To: Kaslin

BTTT.


21 posted on 02/13/2011 7:14:36 AM PST by snowsislander
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unexpected


22 posted on 10/28/2011 4:12:59 AM PDT by devolve (If my graphics offend you/HLS scroll down - If too large simply carefully back away from your PC)
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