FOIA failure: CIA’s ‘wins’ award for Bay of Pigs history request

The logo of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is shown in the lobby of the CIA headquarters

The CIA’s nine-year resistance to releasing its Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation was given the FOIA Failure Award on Friday (March 20) by the The FOIA Project, a non-profit organization that says it seeks ” to provide the public with timely and complete information about every instance in which the federal government grants or withholds records under the Freedom of Information Act.”

The National Security Archive first filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the CIA’s five-volume file in 2005. Six years later, after suing for it, the archive began receiving documents, The FOIA Project said. Still, the CIA has never released Volume 5.

“The CIA’s handling of this request was one of six cases nominated by FOIA experts as an example of an agency’s failure to respond appropriately to a request for documents,” The FOIA Project said. The public began voting on them last week, and the results were announced Friday.

The FOIA Project said it designed the award process for Sunshine Week to show how interesting Freedom of Information Act cases can be, demonstrate how crucial the law is to the public’s right to know and illustrate “the flaws in a system that often requires taking an agency to court simply to get a..

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