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HALPERIN v. CIA

March 7, 1978

MORTON HALPERIN, Plaintiff,
v.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHEY

 OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE CHARLES R. RICHEY

 This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case is now before the Court on defendants' motion for summary judgment, plaintiff's July 1, 1977, motion to compel, and plaintiff's October 14, 1977, motion to compel. For the reasons hereinafter stated, the Court will deny plaintiff's motions to compel and grant defendants' motion for summary judgment.

 I. BACKGROUND

 On January 19, 1976, plaintiff filed a request under the FOIA with the defendant Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This request sought the release of documents in defendants' possession that pertained to briefings given by the CIA in 1970 to members of the press concerning the then-extant political situation in Chile. On April 6, 1976, the CIA replied that it had located two documents responsive to plaintiff's request, but that it was withholding these documents pursuant to exemptions 3 and 6 of the FOIA. 5 U.S.C. §§ 552(b)(3) & (6). Plaintiff then appealed administratively. In reply to this appeal, the CIA notified plaintiff that it had found five additional documents responsive to his request; the Agency, however, determined not to release these documents, as well as the initial two, pursuant to exemptions 1, 3, and 6. 5 U.S.C. §§ 552(b)(1), (3) & (6).

 During the course of this litigation, defendants decided to release all but the exemption 6 portions of two of the withheld documents (Nos. 1 & 2), and plaintiff decided not to contest the withholding of three documents (Nos. 3, 4 & 5), and not to challenge the exemption 6 deletions from documents 1, 2, 6 & 7. In addition, during the pendency of the instant motions, defendants decided to release an additional three sentences from document 6 with but a single deletion. *fn1" Accordingly, the only withheld document-portions that remain in dispute are two paragraphs (17 lines) from document 6 and the entirety of document 7 (35 lines). Both of these documents are background briefing materials, and defendants have invoked both exemption 1 and exemption 3 as the basis for withholding these document-portions.

 II. THE BASIS FOR WITHHOLDING

 In conformance with the requirements of Vaughn v. Rosen, 157 U.S. App. D.C. 340, 484 F.2d 820 (1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977, 39 L. Ed. 2d 873, 94 S. Ct. 1564 (1974), and Phillippi v. CIA, 178 U.S. App. D.C. 243, 546 F.2d 1009 (1976), defendants filed a series of detailed affidavits that set forth the basis for the CIA's invocation of exemptions 1 and 3 for documents 6 and 7. As these affidavits indicate, documents 6 and 7

 
were prepared in 1970 in response to a request for a limited press briefing on the political situation in Chile. The documents were prepared with the explicit understanding and agreement that the information contained therein, while fully accurate, would not be attributed to the U.S. Government or the CIA.

 Supplemental Affidavit of Charles A. Briggs, para. 10 (hereinafter, Briggs Supp. Aff.). Documents 6 and 7 were both only made available to a single media representative, who had been granted clearance by the CIA to receive classified information. Answers to Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories, Nos. 3(a)-(c).

 Defendants' most comprehensive affidavit asserts that the first paragraph (11 lines) deleted from document 6 consists of

 
foreign intelligence information concerning specific secret political arrangements between foreign government officials and the identities of individuals who played significant roles in these secret activities.

 Briggs Supp. Aff., para. 4. This affidavit further asserts that the second paragraph (6 lines) deleted from document 6 contains "personal details concerning a foreign personality." Id. at P 5. Finally, this affidavit asserts that the entirety of document 7 (35 lines) "concerns secret communications between foreign government officials." Id. at P 6. The affidavit contends that, with respect to all three deleted document-portions, access to the particular information in 1970 would have been "severely restricted," and disclosure that the CIA possessed such ...


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