Wednesday, November 23, 2005

RawStory: Pentagon's FOIA Logs Released to Activist Blogger

If I do say so myself, John Byrne over at has written an excellent story about how I obtained FOIA logs from the Pentagon and what's contained in the logs.

Here are excerpts from Byrne's story:

>A listing of all requests made of the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act since 2000, acquired by RAW STORY, provides new insight into the aggressiveness of American news agencies.

>Under the Freedom of Information Act, the public can request records of government agencies. Records seen as jeopardizing national security or individual rights are typically exempted. All requests are public.

>The request for a list of all who made inquiries of the Pentagon was filed by Michael Petrelis (, a San Francisco-based activist and blogger. He provided a copy to RAW STORY, which will be released in full next week.[...]

>The Pentagon’s records reveal that the law is broadly used—more than 10,000 requests have been made since 2000. But they also illuminate a seeming dearth of curiosity by news organizations about the internal files of the U.S. military establishment.

>This lack of curiosity appears particularly evident among the nation’s three largest newspapers.

>In total, the three papers with daily circulations greater than one million--USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times -- made just 36 requests of the Pentagon between 2000 and February 2005. USA Today made nine; the Journal, six; and the Times, 21.

>The Associated Press, the nation’s most widely used wire service, made 73 requests. Two other AP reporters made a handful of requests not identified by their employer.

>Leading print newspapers was the Los Angeles Times, with 42 inquiries. The Times recently ditched its national edition and announced last week it would lay off 85 newsroom staffers. Following the LA Times was the Washington Post, with 34—just shy of the total requests made by the three largest U.S. newspapers combined.[...]

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