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New Senate, House Bills Would Create Broad WMD Exemption from FOIA

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A Pentagon-written provision creating a new, tenth exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, this for unclassified information that relates to any vulnerabilities to weapons of mass destruction, has been included in Senate and House authorization bills. (S2507 and HR 5122). The addition is intended to give the Pentagon the authority to control public disclosure of any information tht would “disclose a vulnerability to the effects of a weapon of mass destructionoverride.” In the process, it could not only set federal withholding standards but override state and local open records laws. Meredith Fuchs, general counsel at the National Security Archive, said the language “is so broad as to potentially sweep everything related to any chemical facility into the exemption.” (4/19/06)