After my FOIA hell story of yesterday outlining yet another example of the US Administration's blatant disregard for our right to information, another one has popped up this morning.
In July, I wrote a piece about a major US climate report being stealthily released on a Friday afternoon by the State Department. You can find the report here, it was quite a scathing admission by the US government that very little was being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that they had very little planned to deal with it down the road.
I was not surprised that the report was released on a Friday afternoon, in the dog days of summer, without a mention in the State Department's daily press briefing - it's a common PR tactic when you have to release bad news. Pretty slick, used often and works surprisingly well - don't know what that says about US media, actually I do no what it says, but I'll leave it up to others to point it out.
To get to the bottom of the communications strategy behind the report's release, I submitted a daily press briefing to the State Department asking for all communications materials leading up the release.
The word I got back today?
The request will be processed in the next nine months! Nine months!
My wife and I can make a baby in less time - it takes the US government longer to fill a simple FOIA request, than it does for me to create life!
So in other words, I will most likely have the materials I requested by July, 2009. But I'm not holding my breath, I've talked to reporters who have waited much longer than that.
In an April, 2005 address to the American Society of Newspaper Editor's, President Bush stated that "... [he] thinks that FOIA requests ought to be dealt with as expeditiously as possible."
Yah, about as expeditious as his plan to reduce greenhouse gas has been.