Based on my years of experience as a public interest advocate, it has never been easy to obtain information and documents from our so-called government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This is because the attitude of government agencies in the executive branch – typically Congress has exempted itself from FOIA as it does not consider itself accountable to anyone – has always been, in Hamiltonian fashion, that “the people are a great beast” and either do not deserve to be informed or do not have a say in governance, as they are inherently less able or intelligent.
Nearly all presidents who preside over the executive branch agencies subject to FOIA have campaigned and come into office promising the most transparent administrations in American history. So it was that our current president, Barack Hussein Obama, sold this false bill of goods to the American people in the lead-up to his successful election in 2008.
But true to form, Obama and the executive branch agencies he oversees did not honor their promise, no more than they honored other promises in having enacted the now-infamous Obamacare legislation, where the felonious “Liar in Chief” fraudulently told Americans they could keep their doctors, “period,” once the act went into effect. It is now the consensus, even among leftist public interest groups and newspapers like the Washington Post, that this administration is the most obstructionist and lawless in flouting and disobeying FOIA since the law was enacted in 1966.
As a result, various public interest groups, the media and the citizenry in general have been stymied from learning the full truth about the myriad scandals rocking the Obama administration, everything from IRS-gate, to Benghazi-gate, to Fast and Furious, and Extortion 17, where 17 Navy SEALs (including some who went on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden), five other special ops forces and eight other servicemen died at the hands of the Taliban in a raid some observers, like myself, who represents some of the families of our heroes, feel was possibly compromised not just by the corrupt Afghan government that is infiltrated with Muslim terrorists but perhaps within our own government, including military brass. It goes without saying that the killing of members of Navy SEAL Team VI was a “big prize” for the Taliban in retaliation for the death of bin Laden and other counter-terrorism actions against their Islamic creed. The Taliban and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which pays bounties to the Taliban for the death of U.S. servicemen, can certainly afford to line the pockets of anyone who is willing to compromise a Navy SEAL mission with Team VI members on board.
Over the last few years, we have tried to learn the underlying causes for the downing of Extortion 17. In this regard, my chief of staff and I triggered what I thought would be a bona fide hearing on the causes for these tragic deaths before the Republican-run House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. But rather than delving deeply into the root causes for the crash, the committee glossed over the legitimate questions of the grieving families and simply took an exit stage left, if not a dive, rather than learning and disclosing the truth. This link to the hearing, held on Feb. 27, 2014, makes my point. Rather than calling as witnesses those government and military leaders who could testify with personal or actual knowledge of what had occurred, the committee called as the only “substantive witness” a political hack Obama Defense Department appointee named Gary Reid, who knew nothing. As we learned later, he admittedly had not even read the Pentagon’s roughly 1,300-page crash report concerning Extortion 17.
Realizing that, for whatever reason, the committee had allowed for the cover-up of the tragedy’s causes, we decided to conduct our own investigation. To facilitate this, we initially sent detailed FOIA requests to the Obama-run Pentagon, but were characteristically stonewalled. When we were forced to file suit, I did so in Florida, thinking that a judge there would be less politicized than in Washington, D.C., where the overwhelming majority of jurists on the federal bench are either Obama or Clinton leftist appointees. But the judge in Florida was unfamiliar with FOIA and effectively allowed the Pentagon to not produce any meaningful documents, incredulously claiming that they do not exist.
This lack of documentation was reminiscent of the way Obama and his executive branch agencies have obstructed Congress and the courts in other investigations. As a prime example, the criminally minded Obama-IRS has claimed that emails from the ultra-leftist hack IRS supervisor Lois Lerner, who orchestrated the discriminatory treatment of conservative public interest groups who were seeking tax-exempt status, were “accidentally destroyed.”
So, where can one go if an executive branch agency claims that there are no documents to produce under FOIA, as they have been destroyed, lost or whatever? The simple answer, of course, is the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), also executive branch agencies subject to FOIA.
Since both the NSA and the CIA have surveillance programs that we have learned – thanks to whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and the fruits of our own lawsuits – sweep up and access the telephonic and Internet metadata, including emails, of all Americans and foreigners, these executive branch agencies also have the documentation at issue.
For this reason, just last Thursday we filed another lawsuit seeking to have the NSA and CIA cough up the records concerning Extortion 17 the Pentagon claims not to have and will thus not produce. See www.freedomwatchusa.org. The case was logically assigned to the same judge in D.C. federal court who enjoined the NSA from this unconstitutional and illegal surveillance last December.
My colleagues and I at Freedom Watch will not rest and will use all legal means to learn the truth about the downing of Extortion 17, as we owe a duty not just to the surviving family members we represent, but to other servicemen who are sent into wars only to be compromised by our president and his lackeys in the Defense Department. The American people deserve to know why this Muslim president, who puts the well-being of his brothers in the Islamic world ahead of the well-being of the rest of us, and the “yes men” he has installed in his Defense Department, would cover up this tragedy, which represented the greatest loss of life in the Afghan war. In this way, We the People can also have more ammunition to remove this traitor and his enablers from office before it is too late for all of us.
Media wishing to interview Larry Klayman, please contact [email protected].