The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
is refusing to process a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request
that would reveal what role, if any, the agency has played in law
enforcement’s coordinated, nationwide campaign to shut down and
evict Occupy movement encampments in cities throughout the
The FOIA demand for records was filed
by the Washington D.C.-based civil rights legal organization, the
Partnership for Civil Justice (PCJF).
The language used by the agency to
announce its refusal to process the FOIA request concerning its
role in the crackdown on the Occupy movement is “a classic case of
CIA-double speak,” according to the attorneys at the PCJF.
The CIA is not specifically denying
that it has records and documents that would reveal its role in the
coordinated crackdown that evicted the encampments in major cities
within a short period of time. Rather, the agency asserts that it
won’t look for such records and documents.
"The CIA is apparently asserting that
because its involvement in law enforcement's crackdown of the
Occupy movement would be barred by law, it is not possible for the
CIA to conduct an effective search for information responsive to
our inquiry into its role in the operation," stated Mara
Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the PCJF. “In other
words,” she continued, “because the actions would be illegal, they
would also be off the books.”
Far from claiming it does not possess
responsive records, the CIA stated in its letter to Ms.
Verheyden-Hilliard that because such activities would be barred by
law, "our records systems are not configured in a way that would
allow us to perform a search reasonably calculated to lead to
responsive records. Therefore, we must decline to process your
The PCJF has demanded that the CIA
reconsider its request and is prepared to take legal action as
necessary to force the agency to comply with its obligations under
the Freedom of Information Act. This denial comes on the heels of a
series of Associated Press articles revealing the CIA’s involvement
with the NYPD.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
(PCJF) has filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with
the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), and the National Park Service (NPS) requesting that
the agencies release information that they possess related to the
involvement of federal agencies in the planning of a coordinated
law enforcement crackdown that has taken places in multiple cities
against the Occupy Movement. These requests are also on behalf of
the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee.
The FOIA to the various federal law
enforcement agencies states: “This request specifically encompasses
disclosure of any documents or information pertaining to federal
coordination of, or advice or consultation regarding, the police
response to the Occupy movement, protests or encampments.”
the FOIA demand to the federal agencies (PDF).
the CIA's response (PDF).