Monday, September 06, 2004

For Immediate Release
September 7, 2004
Contact: Michael Petrelis
Ph: 415-621-6267



(San Francisco, CA) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation has denied a Freedom of Information Act request for expedited processing for the agency's dossiers on President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The FBI in late July denied a quick release of the Bush and Cheney files. The FOIA request was made by longtime gay activist Michael Petrelis.

WHAT: News conference

WHY: To request immediate release of Bush and Cheney's FBI files

DATE: Tuesday, September 7

WHEN: 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: FBI's San Francisco Office, U.S. Federal Building
Turk Street entrance, between Larkin and Polk streets

"I requested these files because the American public must know what's in the dossiers on Bush and Cheney," said Petrelis. "Democrat John Kerry's voluminous FBI files were scrutinized by reporters and the subject of hundreds of news accounts in March of this year. Less than sixty days before the November election, the FBI has a responsibility to treat Bush and Cheney's files equal to those on Kerry, which means releasing their files forthwith."

An appeal to overturn the FBI's denial for fast-track release of the Bush and Cheney dossiers was filed by Petrelis in early September, which he will talk about at the news conference.

All of the correspondence between Petrelis and the FBI about these folders is available on the activist's blog at

- - -

September 2, 2004

Office of Information and Privacy
U.S. Department of Justice
Flag Building, Suite 570
Washington, DC 20530-0001

RE: Freedom of Information Act Appeal, FOIA # 1001866 and FOIA # 1001868

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am responding to your agency's July 28 letter stating my expedited processing request for President George W. Bush's Federal Bureau of Investigation dossier, FOIA number 1001866; and Vice President Dick Cheney's FBI file, FOIA number 1001868, has been denied.

I wish to appeal this denial, based on the fact that the public has a right to know, before the November 2 election, what, if anything, is in the FBI files on Bush and Cheney.

The Freedom of Information Act allows for expedited processing of requests when the requested documents are a "matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence."

The outcome of November 2's presidential election could well be determined on what's in the Bush and Cheney FBI files. Voters may cast their ballots based on not just the contents of those files, but also on the hundreds of pages of FBI dossiers the agency kept on Sen. John Kerry since the 1970s, and which were released in March 2004, to tremendous media and public scrutiny.

Keeping my request in your regular processing queue is unacceptable, given the gravity of the upcoming election, and the widespread media and public interest in the Bush and Cheney files.

Your agency has a legal and civic duty to honor my expedited request for the Bush and Cheney files, if only to show that the Department of Justice has not in any way shown bias in revealing voluminous dossiers on Kerry, while so far withholding any and all comparable files on Bush and Cheney, that I have requested.

Accordingly, I reiterate my appeal of the department's denial to expeditiously process my request for the Bush and Cheney dossiers.

Michael Petrelis

- - -
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001

Mr. Michael Petrelis
2215-R Market Street, #413
San Francisco, CA 94114

July 28, 2004

Dear Mr. Petrelis:

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act request concerning President George W. Bush, FOIA number 1001866, and Vice President Dick Cheney, FOIA number 1001868. This response is being made on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General and Associate Attorney General.

You have requested expedited processing of your requests pursuant to the Department's standard permitting expedition for requests involving "[a] matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence," 28 C.F.R. Section 16.5 (d)(1)(iv).

Based on information you have provided, I have determined you have not demonstrated any particular urgency to inform the public about the subject matter of your requests beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. Accordingly, your request has been placed in our regular processing queue.

You may administratively appeal the denial of your request for expedited processing by writing to the Co-Director, Office of Information and Privacy, United States Department of Justice, Flag Building, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20503-0001, within sixty days from the date of this letter.

Both letter and the envelope should be clearly marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."

Your request has been assigned the numbers above. Please use these numbers in all correspondence with us.

Sincerely yours,
David M. Hardy
Section Chief
Record/Information Dissemination Section
Records Management Division

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