Yesterday I reported that Radar Online had picked up the story of the blatant corruption, cover-up, and coercive behavior of the agents in the Secret Service. Today another article has been published giving more examples of corrupt behavior and use and abuse of tax payer money revealed in the documents produced by the Secret Service and the Office of the Inspector General.
The amazing thing is that the Judge in my FOIA suit has ruled that NO attorney fees should be reimbursed to me. His justification is that my request for these documents does not result in any “legitimate public benefit.” He further explains that there is no “new evidence not previously available that warrants the extraordinary relief sought”. Here is the complete order:
The only case cited by the Court as as justification for his ruling is Cotton vs. Heyman.. That was a case where the Plaintiff was an employee of the Smithsonian Institution who was fired. She made a FOIA request to obtain documents regarding her employment history to support her employment discrimination suit. Thus her request was clearly designed to assist in her own suit against the government. It seems painfully obvious that that case is dramatically different than my own.
In the case at hand the purpose for the FOIA requests were to bring to light government corruption, the attempts to cover up that corruption, and the coercive behavior of A.T. Smith used to attempt to thwart me in my pursuit of the information and documents requested. I have no personal financial interest in the information. I make no money off my blog.
The Federal Government describes the FOIA this way:
The reality is that in the absence of being reimbursed for attorney fees incurred in bringing light on government corruption, no citizen will fight to gain the documents necessary to uncover that corruption. It took over four years to gain these documents. It took the combination of my legal background, and the financial ability to pay the attorney fees necessary to obtain a Court Order requiring production of these documents. Now that the documents have been produced, at an expense in excess of $100,000.00, my only option may be to appeal the decision of the trial court. Such an appeal will result in expenditure of even more time, more attorney fees, or untold personal time that will not likely be reimbursable under the current FOIA law. Understand that I have not asked for reimbursement of the value of my time in fighting to obtain these records over the last four years. I personally reviewed the thousands of pages of redacted documents that were produced to me. I made no request for reimbursement of my personal time for review of the documents. When Radar Online contacted me about the documents, I voluntarily produced summaries of relevant quotes from the documents, as it would be too time consuming for a national publication to personally review the thousands of pages produced by the government.
John McCain said: “Excessive administration secrecy…feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public’s confidence in government.”
President Obama said: “I’ll turn the page on a growing empire of classified information. We’ll protect sources and methods, but we won’t use sources and methods to hide the truth.”
Senator John Cornyn, my Senator from Texas said: “Open government is fundamentally an American issue, not a Republican or Democrat issue.”
If America is ever to be the country that we dream it could be, we must curb the rampant government corruption and intimidation of an average American who fights to hold our government accountable. We must ENCOURAGE citizen involvement by, at a minimum, reimbursing out of pocket expenses when a citizen substantially prevails in proving government corruption. We must stop rewarding government employees like Mark Sullivan, the retired Head of the Secret Service, who was determined by Congress as having lied to Congress in a hearing before the Oversight Committee. We didn’t send him to jail for committing perjury. We allowed him to retire with full governmental benefits. We rewarded him for overseeing 20 years of corruption in the Secret Service, and then lying to Congress, saying that the corruption within his agency did not exist. When citizens of the United States began to find fault with the Secret Service for corruption and ineptness, the Secret Service then hired a PR firm, at the expense of tax payers, to convince taxpayers that the corruption and ineptness that did exist, did not.