“President Obamas White House has tightened the cloak of government secrecy still further, saying in a letter this week that a discussion draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and related materials are “classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.” The 1995 Executive Order 12958 allows material to be classified only if disclosure would do “damage to the national security and the original classification authority is able to identify or describe the damage.”
Jamie Love, director of the nonprofit group Knowledge Ecology International, filed the Freedom of Information Act request that resulted in this weeks denial from the White House. The denial letter was sent to Love by the chief FOIA officer in the White Houses Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Love had written in his original request on January 31–submitted soon after Obamas inauguration–that the documents “are being widely circulated to corporate lobbyists in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. There is no reason for them to be secret from the American public.”….
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