The Corner

VP Cheney’s Request — a Correction

I have an article up this afternoon about the Obama administration’s refusal to disclose information sought by former Vice President Cheney. I described the vice president as having made a request under the Freedom of Information Act. While the effect is the same, I was in error about the provision of law under which the request was made. In fact, the vice president made not a FOIA request but a request for Mandatory Declassification Review under Executive Order 12958, sec. 3.5(a)(3). This, rather than FOIA, is the formal way a former vice president requests declassification through the National Archives. The Archives then forwards the request to the relevant agency, in this case, the CIA. 

As I said, the effect is the same. The administration could have disclosed the information (as it can with a FOIA request), but it elected not to — so that the public learns only about the interrogation tactics that were used, not the life-saving information those tactics generated. Nevertheless, I regret the error. I’ll try to have this correction added to the article.

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