13 June 2016 — National Security Archive
What Links Operation Condor Convictions to News of Widespread Medicare Overcharging? FOIA!
50 of the Year’s Most Important Stories Made Possible by the Freedom of Information Act, Signed 50 Years Ago this July 4
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Washington DC, June 13, 2016 – Today the National Security Archive celebrates the Freedom of Information Act’s upcoming 50th birthday by highlighting 50 of the year’s biggest news stories made possible by FOIA. The diverse front-page news shows how FOIA can impact human rights, government accountability, and even what you eat.
Here is a sampling of this year’s top stories:
- FOIA releases to the National Security Archive provided critical evidence in the historic conviction of 14 Argentine military officers and 1 Uruguayan military officer for their participation in the Operation Condor international murder ring and were cited 150 times by the prosecution.
- Documents released through FOIA proved Pentagon officials deliberately misled Congress on the Defense Department’s handling of sexual assault cases in order to undermine reform legislation.
- A FOIA lawsuit uncovered that the Obama White House’s Justice Department aggressively lobbied to kill uncontroversial bipartisan FOIA reform in 2014.
- Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were, FOIA releases to the National Security Archive show, climate change heroes who took action to protect the ozone layer.
- State-level FOIA releases in Michigan exposed the cost-driven decisions by Flint administrators not to add corrosion controls to the water supply, causing lead poisoning in kids, and the cover-up by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
- Documents released by the Food and Drug Administration under FOIA show that cheese marketed as being“100% parmesan” contained 0% parmesan – and some wood pulp.
- Government audits freed by a FOIA lawsuit show widespread billing mistakes – primarily overcharging – in Medicare Advantage program.
THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.