Acronymapalooza: The ACLU FOIA Case Over CIA Drone Use Data

Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith specializes in national security law, presidential power, cybersecurity, international law, internet law, foreign relations law, and conflict of laws. On his Lawfare blog Thursday, he previewed the scheduled oral arguments over a contentious FOIA dispute involving the American Civil Liberties Union and the Central Intelligence Agency:

[T]he main issue is whether the CIA may properly give a “Glomar” response to the ACLU’s request – i.e. a response that neither confirms nor denies whether it has any responsive records concerning targeted killing.  A Glomar response is not proper if the USG has “officially acknowledged” CIA involvement in the drone strikes.  The district court ruled that the government had not officially acknowledged that the CIA (as opposed to the government) had deployed drones.  On appeal, the ACLU and the USG have essentially fought about whether the various official public statements and leaks by the USG about drones constitute an official acknowledgement of CIA involvement in deploying drones.

On his page, Goldsmith weighs in from his expert perspective on whats at stake in the case, and predicts that the case will end in a compromise that satisfies the ACLU’s request for a Vaughn index. It’s worth a read. Visit the Lawfare blog post here.