WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge has ruled CIA records related to an internal investigation of the Bay of Pigs disaster will remain secret due the deliberative process privilege exemption of the Freedom of Information Act.
The National Security Archive requested the records in 2005 and filed a lawsuit against the agency in 2011 after receiving no substantive response.
“Three months after the complaint was filed, on July 25, 2011, the CIA released Volumes I, II, and IV to the NSA,” states U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler. “The CIA has offered no explanation as to why it failed to provide any materials to the NSA in the five years and seven months that elapsed between acknowledgement of the FOIA requests and the filing of this lawsuit, but was able to release extensive materials three months after this lawsuit was filed.”
According to the ruling, the CIA released records on the operation regarding air operations, participation in the conduct of foreign policy and the Taylor Committee report with minimal redactions, but the agency withheld in its entirety the volume that holds the internal investigation report.
“In short, the CIA has satisfied its burden of demonstrating that Volume V is predecisional and deliberative, and that its release would harm the deliberative process,” wrote Judge Kessler. Dr. Jack Pfeiffer, a former CIA historian, compiled the history of the doomed Bay of Pigs operation in the late 1970s and early 1980s.