NRO Releases Unclassified Budget Document

In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the National Reconnaissance Office last week released to the Federation of American Scientists the unclassified portions of the NRO Congressional Budget Justification Book for Fiscal Year 2006.

“You have joined a very exclusive club of people who not only win FOIA cases but actually get some documents as a result,” wrote Harry Hammitt, editor of the newsletter Access Reports.

The two-volume, 582-page document was almost entirely blacked out on national security classification grounds. But a few substantive narrative portions were released (and will be posted once our scanner is fixed).

Perhaps more important, the lawsuit successfully countered the claim that such records can be excluded from FOIA processing by designating them as “operational files.”

See “Watchdog wins release of National Reconnaissance Office documents” by Daniel Friedman, Federal Times, January 9.

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