FOI DAILY DOSE: Alleged leaker bites back with subpoenas, Open Gov Partnership holds first big meeting
By Morgan Watkins | July 14th, 2011
CIA leaker throws down with subpoenas for gov. employees
Ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling is tossing his own subpoenas into the mix in the court case investigating his alleged leaking of CIA information to New York Times reporter James Risen.
He is subpoenaing three current or former Senate Intelligence Committee employees, according to Politico.
Sterling’s lawyers filed a motion Monday for subpoenas of records from three committee employees, including its budget chief Lorenzo Goco. They also requested permission to subpoena official records from the Senate.
The staffers were working for the committee when Sterling complained to the panel in 2003 about the CIA’s Operation Merlin, which targeted Iran’s nuclear program and was detailed in Risen’s 2006 book “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.”
Sterling’s subpoenas could lead to legal conflict over whether internal Senate records are exempt from a defendant’s subpoenas.
These aren’t the first controversial subpoenas filed in the case. Risen has received three subpoenas so far, and is awaiting U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema’s decision on whether she will honor his request to quash the third.
If Sterling’s Senate subpoenas are honored, it could help bolster his defense’s argument that Senate staffers were the culprits for the leak, according to Secrecy News.
U.S. hosted Open Gov Partnership meeting
The State Department held the first major Open Government Partnership meeting Tuesday.
OGP is an international project focused on getting solid commitments from various governments to promote transparency and fight corruption, among other things.
The program could help advance the Obama administration’s plans to use technology to develop better governing methods and strengthen democracy and human rights efforts worldwide, according to the State Department’s website.
Topics at the Tuesday meeting included breakout sessions on encouraging civic participation and promoting transparency efforts. Also covered was technology that could be helpful open government tools for governments.
Put this one in the “win” category for international cooperation on some of the most important issues in government: being open with citizens about federal information and welcoming their participation.
– Morgan Watkins
Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email (email@example.com) or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).