March 25, 2004 - Poynter: Goldsmith Winners Discuss FOIA Struggles

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: March 25, 2004: What other News Agencies say about the Peace Corps Safety and Security Hearings: March 25, 2004 - Poynter: Goldsmith Winners Discuss FOIA Struggles

By Admin1 (admin) ( on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 10:23 am: Edit Post

Goldsmith Winners Discuss FOIA Struggles

Goldsmith Winners Discuss FOIA Struggles

Goldsmith Winners Discuss FOIA Struggles

Goldsmith Winners Discuss Patriot Act, FOI Struggles

By Bill Kirtz (more by author)
Professor, Northeastern University

The 200,000 circulation Dayton Daily News found similar resistance when investigating another hallowed institution: the Peace Corps. They launched a 20-month investigation into increasing death and danger faced by Peace Corps volunteers, and the agency's attempt to mislead victims' families about the circumstances.

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Russell Carollo and Mei-Ling Hopgood found that the agency didn't answer their Freedom of Information Act suits; they had to file a lawsuit.

So they relied on a network of returned Peace Corps volunteers unearthed through Internet chat groups.

Hopgood commended the Daily News's commitment to investigative reporting despite the Peace Corps' myriad complaints that the series was undertaken "just to get awards. They went online accusing us of using false data, and we published that upfront, including personal attacks and accusations."

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Story Source: Poynter

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Investigative Journalism; Safety and Security of Volunteers



By daniel ( on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 12:14 am: Edit Post

You had courage Carollo and Hopgood.

The Peace Corps has witheld twelve pages relating to me personally.

I have requested those twelve pages under FYOI and appealed and been turned down under laws relating to national security and executive priviledge. They are not national security matters. Even if they are, why can't volunteers see what has been decided about their case so we can respond to their decisions or interpretations? We have just as much rights as any employee of the government to ansewer for ourselves. Who are they protecting?

Today, they still hold those pages with my name included in those documents. You have the power of a large newspaper and have Counsel to help you file in court for information denied under FYOI. Former Volunteers and some volunteers don't have access to a Federal Attorney, they are usually three hundred dollars per hour.

Peace Corps knows this and uses oppressive tactics to cover up information which protects the agency and individuals who don't work on behalf of true safety and security of volunteers.
We appreciate your articles. Some of these stories needed to be heard in order to put a check and balance on the agency in these matters.

Your articles have helped in changing Peace Corps for the better.

Thanks Daniel

By daniel ( on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 12:22 pm: Edit Post

Dear DDN:

Since you were able to suceed in court against the Peace Corps on requesting information. Above,I indicated, I have been unsucessful in finding a lawyer because it costs about three hundred dollars an hour.

I was wondering, if you or anybody in the Peace Corps community with a legal background could provide me with "a little information". Since the Peace Corps holds twelve pages under laws I stated above and their stance on my case and witholding information is bogus perhaps someone out their "anonymously could help me out with some legal research". "Look at as and legal quiz for you law experts". Here are the laws Peace Corps quoted to me why they can't release these documents with my name on it.

Administrative Services: 10 Pages under the following Freedom of information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5), Privacy Act (U.S.C. 552a (d)(5) and Peace Corps regulation (22 C.F.R. 303.5 (C).

Office of the Inspector General: 2 Pages: Freedom of information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5), Privacy Act (U.S.C. 552a (d)(5) and Peace Corps regulation (22 C.F.R. 303.5 (C).

Since Lexis Nexis costs a great deal and I am at a disadvantage in geting acess to this information through Lexis Nexis or the laws in the keys. Could someone please assistant me with some legal research. I know what these laws mean and have that printed out. However, I don't have case law on individuals, institutions or business who have been sucessful in petitioning the government and been sucessful in overcoming these obstructions or an alternative to being able to view the documents. Such as being to view them with a camera at Agency headquarters.

You would certainly being helping me over Peace Corps denial of documents under FYOI to me and further to my family.

DDN, your lawyer had to have quoted case law or petitioned in court on certain grounds, could you provide me with any of that legal assistance. If not what court did you file in?
Some of you former General Counsel people at Peace Corps could certainly help or Congressmen or their staff. I would appreciate it. We would appreciate your assistance.



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