Eddington v. Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency

The following is the lengthy complaint filed on October 16, 1996

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

PATRICK G. EDDINGTON
c/o 1501 M Street, NW, Suite 1175
Washington, DC 20005

Plaintiff

v.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Washington, DC 20505

and

DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Washington, DC 20340

Defendants
_______________________________

COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

1. This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 USC 552, as amended, and the Privacy Act, 5 USC 552a, as amended, for injunctive and other appropriate relief and the disclosure of agency records improperly withheld from plaintiff by defendants Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA") and Defense Intelligence Agency ("DIA").

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

2. This Court has both subject matter jurisdiction over this action and personal jurisdiction over the defendants pursuant to 5 USC 552(a)(4)(B) and 5 USC 552a(g)(1). this Court also possesses jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 USC 1331. Venue lies in the district under 5 USC 552(a)(4)(B) and 5 USC 552a(g)(1).

PARTIES

3. Patrick G. Eddington is a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and a citizen of the United States.

4. The CIA is an agency within the meaning of 5 USC 552(e) and 5 USC 552a(a)(1), and is in possession and/or control of the records requested by plaintiff which are the subject matter of this action.

5. The DIA is an agency within the meaning of 5 USC 552(e) and 5 USC 552a(a)(1), and is in possession and/or control of the records requested by plaintiff which are the subject matter of this action.

COUNT ONE (FOIA REQUEST)

6. In or about July 1995, approximately 350-400 documents pertaining to Gulf War Syndrome were placed on the Department of Defense's website GulfLINK. The site's home page states that "[a]ll documents provided on GulfLINK have been reviewed and declassified for public release." Upon information and belief, this site is accessible to anyone with access to the Internet throughout the world, which resulted in the downloading of the documents by numerous unknown individuals for their personal or other use.

7. In or about February 1996, seven months after being released, the aforementioned documents were removed from the GulfLINK website thereby denying further public access. Upon information and belief, a small number of the documents have since been made available through the website.

8. On or about August 6, 1996, Mr. Paul Walner, staff director of DEFSECDES oversight panel on Persian Gulf Illness, testified before the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses that the aforementioned documents "have not be [sic] reclassified . . ." and that "[n]one of them are currently classified."

9. By letter dated September 20, 1996, plaintiff, through the undersigned counsel, submitted a FOIA request to the CIA for ". . . all documents pertaining to the Gulf War that were previously declassified and made publicly available in or about July 1995 on the GulfLINK website maintained by the Department of Defense and which were subsequently removed from public access in February 1996."

10. By letter dated October 4, 1996, the CIA acknowledged receipt of plaintiff's September 20, 1996 request and indicated that (1) therequest had been assigned reference number F96-1708; (2) the documents "remain currently and properly classified as well as protected under the statutory provisions of the National Security Act of 1947"; (3) the documents are exempt from disclosure under FOIA exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3); and (4) the matter was referred to the "Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel" for a decision. No notification of a right to appeal was provided.

11. No other response has been received from the CIA.

12. The CIA has failed to comply with the requisite statutory periods which govern compliance under the FOIA. Therefore, the CIA has wrongfully withheld documents fromt he plaintiff.

13. Section 1.8(c) of Executive Order 12,958 forbids information from being reclassified after it has been declassified and released to the public under proper authority." Therefore, the withholding of these documents by the CIA is in violation of the Executive Order.

14. Plaintiff is not required to exhaust administrative remedies as no formal determination regarding the documents has been issued bythe CIA and/or the CIA failed to advise the plaintiff of his statutory right of appeal.

15. Plaintiff has a legal right under the FOIA to obtain the information he seeks, and there is no legal basis for the denial by the CIA of said right.

COUNT TWO (FOIA REQUEST)

16. The plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations contained in paragraphs 6 through 8 above, inclusive.

17. By letter dated September 20, 1996, plaintiff, through the undersigned counsel, submitted a FOIA request to the DIA for ". . . all documents pertaining to the Gulf War that were previously declassified and made publicly available inor about July 1995 on the GulfLINK website maintained by the Department of Defense and which were subsequently removed from public access in February 1996."

18. By letter dated September 25, 1996, the DIA acknowledged receipt of plaintiff's September 20, 1996 request and indicated it had been assigned case number 0691-96.

19. No other response has been received from the DIA.

20. The DIA has failed to comply with the requisite statutory periods which govern compliance under the FOIA. Therefore, DIA has wrongfully withheld documents from the plaintiff.

21. Plaintiff is not required to exhaust administrative remedies as no determination regarding the documents has been issued by the DIA.

22. Plaintiff has a legal right under the FOIA to obtain the information he seeks, and there is no legal basis for hte denial by the DIA of said right.

COUNT THREE (PRIVACY ACT REQUESTS)

23. By letters dated August 17, 1996, plaintiff submitted to the CIA the following separate requests under the Privacy Act in which he requestd [last names of CIA officials will be withheld unless publicly acknowledged]:

a) "my agency personnel file, to include all Form 45s (Performance Appraisal Report), all RFM 748's (Applicant Evaluation), all Form 1150's (Notification of Personnel Action), as well as any other citations, awards, individual or unit commendations, or other similar records."

b) "all Agency records held by the Office of Personnel Security (OPS)(or any of its components) which mention myself, to include any records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by an individual in the Special Investigations Branch (SIB)."

c) "all records held by the Office of General Counsel (OGC)(or any of its components) which mention myself, to include any records -- written, printed, or electronic -- general by George J. between December, 1994and the date of this letter."

d) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by the Security Control Office, Naitonal Photographic Interpretation Center (SCO/NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter.

e) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Lieutenant Colonel Earl C. while assigned to the Office of Scientific and Weapons Research/Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (OWSR/OWTP) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

f) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Nancy B., Director, National Photograhic Interpretation Center (D/NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

g) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Thomas C., the Deputy Director, Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (OWTP), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

h) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated hby Sylvia C., Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (OWTP), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

i) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Ruth D., Deputy for Science and Technology (D/DS&T) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

j) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by John Deutch, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

k) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Joseph D., Executive Officer, Imagery Analysis Group, National Photograhic Interpretation Center (EXO/IAG/NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

l) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Larry F., Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (OWTP), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

m) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Torrey F., Chief, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Division, Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (Ch/NBCD/OWTP), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

n) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Martha G., Chief, Biological Weapons Branch of the Nuclear, Biological, and Chemcial Division, Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (Ch/BWB/NBCD/OWTP), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

o) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Christopher H., the Director, Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (OWTP), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

p) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Stan H., National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

q) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by James H., National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

r) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Colonel Charles L., Deputy Director, National Photographic Interpretation Center (DD/NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

s) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Andrew L., Office of Near Eastern and South Asian affairs (NESA) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

t) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Douglass McEachin, former Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

u) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by James M., Nonproliferation Center (NPC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

v) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Ben M., Office of Near Eastern and South Asian affairs (NESA) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

w) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Lewis M., Deputy Chief, Imagery Analysis Group, National Photographic Interpretation Center (DCh/IAG/NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

x) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Gordon O., Director, Nonproliferation Center (D/NPC) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

y) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Hal R., Office of Near Eastern and South Asian affairs (NESA) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

z) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by John S., Office of Weapons, Technology, and Proliferation (OWTP) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

aa) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Nora Slatkin, Executive Director, Central Intelligence Agency (ExDir/CIA) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

bb) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Admiral William O. Studeman, former Acting Director fo Central Intelligence (ADCI) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

cc) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by George Tenet, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

dd) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Peter U., Executive Director, National Photographic Interpretation Center (ExDir/NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

ee) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by Robert V., Chief, Imagery Analysis Group, National Photographic Interpretation Center (Ch/IAG/NPIC), which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

ff) "all records -- written, printed, or electronic -- generated by William W., Office of Transnational Security and Technology Issues (TSTI) which mention myself, between December, 1994 and the date of this letter."

24. No response has been received from the CIA.

25. The CIA has failed to comply with the requisite statutory periods which govern compliance under the FOIA. Therefore, the CIA has wrongfully withheld documents from the plaintiff.

26. Plaintiff is not required to exhaust administrative remedies as no formal determination regarding the documents has been issued by the CIA.

27. Plaintiff has a legal right under the FOIA to obtain the information he seeks, and there is no legal basis for the denial by the CIA of said right.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays that this Court:

(1) order the CIA and DIA to disclose the requested records in their entireties and make copies promptly available to him;

(2) expedite this action in every way pursuant to 28 USC 1657(a);

(3) award plaintiff reasonable costs and attorney's fees as provided in 5 USC 552(a)(4)(E), 5 USC 552a(g)(1) and/or 28 USC 2412(d); and

(4) grant such other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

Date: October 16, 1996

Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
DC Bar #440532
1501 M Street NW
Suite 1175
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 785-3801

Counsel for Plaintiff



Copyright 1996, 1997 Insignia Publishing Company
Reproduced on www.desert-storm.com with permission.