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(SFGate)   Good: Winning a Freedom of Information Act judgment. Better: Against the FBI. Best: For $470,000   (sfgate.com) divider line 30
    More: Spiffy, FBI  
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14058 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Oct 2012 at 7:47 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-21 02:10:01 AM  
"$470,459 in attorneys' fees "

I wonder how long the FBI will take to cut a check.
 
2012-10-21 07:55:25 AM  
Justice Department attorneys, who represented the FBI, argued that the agency would have released the documents even if Rosenfeld hadn't filed suit. They said "bureaucratic difficulty, not recalcitrant behavior" slowed the releases.

Oh, well nevermind then!

WTF
 
2012-10-21 07:57:57 AM  
WTF indeed. I don't see that makes a whit of difference. If the documents weren't released as required by law, they should be held accountable. Intent doesn't enter into it.
 
2012-10-21 08:02:02 AM  
I'd say Obama's incompetence is spreading to the FBI but their incompetence predates his presidency.

And his life.
 
2012-10-21 08:05:49 AM  
If bureaucratic difficulty takes 25 years, then yes, that becomes recalcitrant behavior.
 
2012-10-21 08:39:33 AM  
Unless this is linked to pay cuts or other disciplinary action, it will have no deterrent effect.
 
2012-10-21 08:47:33 AM  
Back in the late 1960s, someone broke into the Philly FBI office and stole all the files one night. The FBI investigated, could never find anyone to blame it on, could never find the files and eventually shut down the entire office over the matter.

I wonder what would happen if I filed some FOI requests for people I know had files during that era; my parents were in college, and then living near two major universities, which saw their fair share of radical activity. I know a number of our neighbors had to have files, and it wouldn't surprise me if my parents did as well, as my aunt was actually married to a Soviet citizen for a few years.
 
2012-10-21 08:58:02 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: Back in the late 1960s, someone broke into the Philly FBI office and stole all the files one night. The FBI investigated, could never find anyone to blame it on, could never find the files and eventually shut down the entire office over the matter.

I wonder what would happen if I filed some FOI requests for people I know had files during that era; my parents were in college, and then living near two major universities, which saw their fair share of radical activity. I know a number of our neighbors had to have files, and it wouldn't surprise me if my parents did as well, as my aunt was actually married to a Soviet citizen for a few years.


You commie bastard...
 
2012-10-21 08:59:03 AM  
Now watch the FBI go after this guy on whatever trumped-up charges they can think of
 
2012-10-21 09:00:37 AM  
If bureaucratic difficulty takes 25 years, then yes, that becomes recalcitrant behavior.

The only bureaucratic difficulty here is admitting that since the 60's or before, the FBI has been frequently and persistantly conducting domestic suveillance on any US Citizen that it doesn't like. Luckily with the Patriot Act all that bureaucratic difficulty went away and it's now enshrined in law. USA, USA, USA.
 
2012-10-21 09:12:21 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: "$470,459 in attorneys' fees "

"The money will go to the nonprofit First Amendment Project of Oakland, which represented Rosenfeld pro bono, and to the San Francisco law firm of Bryan Cave."


Didn't know you could win attorney's fees for pro bono work. My mind is blown, but congratulations to them!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-21 09:28:07 AM  
The FBI's intent is important because you win attorney's fees for intentional misconduct, not simply because the court rules against the government. See "Equal Access to Justice Act."

I wish we had fees and such under my state's FOIA. Towns and agencies routinely refuse to comply because there is no punishment for intentional lawbreaking. Worst case is a judge orders the documents released.
 
2012-10-21 09:33:34 AM  
I would call this a win, but I just realized that if the FBI coughs up the cash, it will be with our tax dollars. So was society on the winning or losing end of this judgement?
 
2012-10-21 09:36:05 AM  

Jenna Tellya: BarkingUnicorn: "$470,459 in attorneys' fees "

"The money will go to the nonprofit First Amendment Project of Oakland, which represented Rosenfeld pro bono, and to the San Francisco law firm of Bryan Cave."

Didn't know you could win attorney's fees for pro bono work. My mind is blown, but congratulations to them!


Because giving something away automatically makes it not cost you anything. Did you know that people who work for non-profit organizations are paid for their work? The nerve of those people to demand such a thing! Do you want to sit together on the short bus to school on Monday?
 
2012-10-21 09:43:34 AM  

Butthurted: I would call this a win, but I just realized that if the FBI coughs up the cash, it will be with our tax dollars. So was society on the winning or losing end of this judgement?


Whenever society hires people who just flat out refuse to do their job, everyone loses.
 
2012-10-21 09:52:08 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: "$470,459 in attorneys' fees "

I wonder how long the FBI will take to cut a check.


That depends on how quickly you pay your taxes.
 
2012-10-21 09:52:10 AM  

randomjsa: I'd say Obama's incompetence is spreading to the FBI but their incompetence predates his presidency.

And his life.


TV documentaries tell us the organization was started and flourished under a blanket of lies. This reflects poorly on America and its citizens.
 
2012-10-21 09:58:15 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: Back in the late 1960s, someone broke into the Philly FBI office and stole all the files one night. The FBI investigated, could never find anyone to blame it on, could never find the files and eventually shut down the entire office over the matter.

I wonder what would happen if I filed some FOI requests for people I know had files during that era; my parents were in college, and then living near two major universities, which saw their fair share of radical activity. I know a number of our neighbors had to have files, and it wouldn't surprise me if my parents did as well, as my aunt was actually married to a Soviet citizen for a few years.


they don't have to produce what they can't produce. If they had files, and those files were stolen and no other information exists, then they have nothing to produce.
 
2012-10-21 10:00:03 AM  

SDRR: Justice Department attorneys, who represented the FBI, argued that the agency would have released the documents even if Rosenfeld hadn't filed suit. They said "bureaucratic difficulty, not recalcitrant behavior" slowed the releases.

Oh, well nevermind then!

WTF


Actually they are probably right. In many cases, the rules restricting the release of the information require line-by-line reviews and then a full-blown public affairs review as well. Budgets for these offices have shrunk dramatically over the last decade, so in many cases you have a team of two or three people doing all of the review and public affairs work for an entire agency. Even small agencies can rack up millions of pages of information, so we're not talking nickels and dimes here. Tack onto this fact that there is no centralized control of information within the government and you have not merely a huge mess but a huge nightmare as well. shiat just sits around rotting on the shelves because there's no staff to do it and little money to pay the staff. And that's not exactly something you can outsource.
 
dwg
2012-10-21 10:06:24 AM  
Of tax payers money. You're welcome!
 
2012-10-21 10:19:06 AM  

Jenna Tellya: BarkingUnicorn: "$470,459 in attorneys' fees "

"The money will go to the nonprofit First Amendment Project of Oakland, which represented Rosenfeld pro bono, and to the San Francisco law firm of Bryan Cave."

Didn't know you could win attorney's fees for pro bono work. My mind is blown, but congratulations to them!


Yes -- winning attorneys fees is how public interest law firms pay their rent.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-21 10:29:30 AM  
In many cases, the rules restricting the release of the information require line-by-line reviews and then a full-blown public affairs review as well.

For municipal FOIA requests in my area most of the review process is an artificial requirement. It's a way to bill lawyer rates when the document doesn't need to be reviewed or could be censored by a $20 per hour clerk.
 
2012-10-21 10:30:40 AM  

casual disregard: SDRR


So, pay a bunch of farkhead lawyers after they sue you into oblivion because you don't have the staff to do the required due diligence. Makes perfect sense, nevermind then!
 
2012-10-21 11:19:07 AM  

dwg: Of tax payers money. You're welcome!


The book he wrote is probably worth it to the tax payers.

Hoover's obsession with the university intensified in 1959, when a test for incoming freshmen included the question "What are the dangers to democracy of a national police organization, like the FBI, which operates secretly and is unresponsive to criticism?" What followed was one of those laugh-to-keep-from-crying moments that students of FBI history know too well: The bureau acted like a fascist organization by targeting anyone accusing it of acting like a fascist organization, all in order to publicly prove it was nothing like a fascist organization....

That's simply the public record. And now we have the private record. In 1966, Rosenfeld shows, Hoover secretly helped get Reagan elected governor, then in 1967 conspired with him to get Kerr fired. Around the same time, the FBI helped Reagan cover up lies on a report in which he omitted his past membership to organizations officially deemed subversive by the attorney general-and Reagan signed a form acknowledging that such false statements were punishable as a felony.


That and a lot of crushing of free speech activities and government surveillance of students.

And considering the winnings reflect 8 minutes of war in Afghanistan, this is really not a lot of money.
 
2012-10-21 12:51:38 PM  
FBI Taxpayers must pay S.F. journalist $470,000

Yay, victory!

When we take the money out of FBI employee's paychecks, THEN we win.
 
2012-10-21 01:38:50 PM  

jjorsett: FBI Taxpayers must pay S.F. journalist $470,000

Yay, victory!

When we take the money out of FBI employee's paychecks, THEN we win.


There's a lot which could be said about it and I had mine. I just don't think most of you realize the breadth of work required to do what is requested. I invite you to apply for the job should it ever be opened. Do it for a few years and then say these things.
 
2012-10-21 01:54:38 PM  
Yeah, this is a real win for the taxpayers....
 
2012-10-21 03:22:15 PM  

ggecko: Yeah, this is a real win for the taxpayers....


I am not comfortable living in a world where we are reluctant to sue the FBI simply because it might cost the taxpayers money.
 
2012-10-21 04:51:58 PM  

austerity101: ggecko: Yeah, this is a real win for the taxpayers....

I am not comfortable living in a world where we are reluctant to sue the FBI simply because it might cost the taxpayers money.


I also don't want to hire FBI employees who are reluctant to follow the law or judges orders.
 
2012-10-22 04:41:24 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: Back in the late 1960s, someone broke into the Philly FBI office and stole all the files one night. The FBI investigated, could never find anyone to blame it on, could never find the files and eventually shut down the entire office over the matter.

I wonder what would happen if I filed some FOI requests for people I know had files during that era; my parents were in college, and then living near two major universities, which saw their fair share of radical activity. I know a number of our neighbors had to have files, and it wouldn't surprise me if my parents did as well, as my aunt was actually married to a Soviet citizen for a few years.


Do you one better...one of my great aunts actually BECAME a Soviet citizen. Fell in love, moved to Russia, joined the Party, the whole nine yards, back in the 50's.

Never knew her as a kid, but she came back to New England to die, so I met her then.

(insert snarky joke about New England being to the left of Russia...)
 
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