Justice Department Drops Its Request To Be Allowed To Lie In Response To FOIA Requests
from the now-it'll-just-lie-without-permission? dept
Of course, the DOJ's capitulation is done rather petulantly. While it admits that, having heard the comments to its proposal, its suggested language "falls short" of the necessary transparency, it still defends the basic idea behind lying to the public, while denying that it's lying. It first notes that the practice of responding with "there exist no records responsive to your FOIA request" even if there were such records, has been in place since 1987, under the guidance of then Attorney General Ed Meese. And then they try to explain how that's not lying:
The logic is simple: When a citizen makes a request pursuant to the FOIA, either implicit or explicit in the request is that it seeks records that are subject to the FOIA; where the only records that exist are not subject to the FOIA, the statement that "there exist no records responsive to your FOIA request" is wholly accurate....It then insists that this practice is never "lying," but that the DOJ will try to come up with ways to be more transparent. Somehow, I'm not sure I believe that will really happen.