?H3> Background and Some Updates
For years POW/MIA activists and Veterans said the CIA should be taken to court to obtain withheld POW/MIA information. A Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) Civil Action, No. 98-1319 PLF, was originally filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 28, 1998. Following numerous motions by Plaintiff Roger Hall for the case to go to trial the defendant CIA asked for Summary Judgement, the dismissal of the case. The case was originally before Judge Friedman. The case is now before Judge Kennedy (Civil Action No. 04-0814); a part of part of the original case is in the U. S. District Court of Appeals (Civil Action No. 04-5235).
The CIA is in violation of Executive Order 12812 issued by former President George H.W. Bush in 1992, Presidential Decision Directive (NSC 8) issued by President Clinton, and the Freedom of Information Act. The Executive Order of President Bush required the release of all POW/MIA documentation except for matters of national security, sources and methods; President Clinton's Decision Directive put a deadline of Veterans Day 1993 on President Bush's Executive Order.
The CIA has acknowledged: Over 500 documents have been withheld for national security reasons; 40,000 pages released by the Senate Select Committee POW/MIA Affairs in 1993 were still classified by the CIA. The CIA has even withheld the identification of the above documents by name, number, or description. This is only part of what we seek, the CIA still withholds additional POW/MIA documents they have not yet admitted to. We have the evidence. We also have witnesses and asked the U.S. District Court to allow us to take discovery to identify the POW/MIA information and require the CIA to expand its document search. On August 10, 2000 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia refused to dismiss the CIA's case and revealed in a court order that the CIA had information on the last known location of a live POW/MIA.?The information on the last known location was being withheld under the McCain Privacy Act. ?That obstacle must now be overcome. On the down side the court refused to allow depositions, it is to early in the case for depositions, we will reapply.
The POW/MIA FOIA Litigation Account was established to collect funding for legal costs and expenses for a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit against the CIA. The case seeks POW/MIA documentation that agency has avoided, hidden and withheld from declassification and release. In September 1998 the POW/MIA FOIA Litigation Account was formed as a nonprofit organization and obtained permission to operate as an IRS 501 (C)(3) tax exempt organization. The corporation was formed to obtain donations to prosecute this case free from taxation. To date the case has been funded by donations from the public.
On August 10, 2000 the court revealed that the CIA had documentation on the last known location of at least one live POW and ordered the CIA to expand its search for additional POW/MIA documentation including satellite imagery. The identy/identities of the last know alive have not been revealed. We are pursuing to overcome the CIAs obstacles to this. The court also allowed the CIA to withhold some POW/MIA documents under the covert operations protection of the National Security Act of 1947, and some for other reasons of national security. The CIA then imposed a $10,000 search fee before they would perform the search. This was appealed.
On July 22, 2002 the U.S. District Court ordered that the $10,000 search fee be paid. This required fee will be paid by the August 26, 2002 deadline while we continue to seek our rightful fee waiver. This allows the case to continue for the additional POW/MIA documents the CIA hides along with our efforts for the denied documents.
We could really use some financial help. Many people expect these documents to be automatically declassified, that will not happen, and that is why a law suit was filed. Although no one associated with the POW/MIA FOIA Litigation Account gets paid -- legal expenses contue. Donating allows you to participate in uncovering the truth on abandoned POW/MIAs and this will lead to the return of survivors.
Be part of the solution -- Some Still Survive.