The Pentagon’s use of FOIA is flawed. Now it wants to make it even stricter.
A wide-ranging group of government transparency advocates asked Congress on Wednesday to block new changes to the Freedom of Information Act requested by the Defense Department, saying that approving them would allow the Pentagon to “excuse itself from the hard fought and necessary reforms.”
The letter, signed by organizations ranging from Human Rights Watch to the National Press Club and released by the Project On Government Oversight, said that language in the Senate version of the proposed 2017 National Defense Authorization Act would provide the military with a new exemption to FOIA that is overly broad and potentially easy to abuse.
The proposal would give the Pentagon the ability to withhold information about unclassified tactics, techniques and procedures used by the Armed Forces. It’s so broad, the letter argues, “it could allow DoD to withhold almost any unclassified document at all related to Defense Department operations and could be used to justify concealing just about any material DoD creates.”
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