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Judicial Watch • JW v DOD 01935 GTMO Bergdahl

JW v DOD 01935 GTMO Bergdahl

JW v DOD 01935 GTMO Bergdahl

Page 1: JW v DOD 01935 GTMO Bergdahl

Category:Lawsuit

Number of Pages:4

Date Created:November 18, 2014

Date Uploaded to the Library:January 27, 2015

Tags:GTMO, 01935, Bergdahl, Dod


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THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA 
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., 

425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800  
Washington, 20024,  
Plaintiff,  Civil Action No.  
U.S. DEPARTMENT DEFENSE,  
1400 Defense Pentagon  
Washington, 20301,  
Defendant.  

COMPLAINT 
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this actions against Defendant U.S. Department 
Defense compel compliance with the Freedom oflnformation Act, U.S.C.  552 ("FOIA"). grounds therefor, Plaintiff alleges follows: 
JURISDICTION AND VENUE The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)( 4)(B) 
and U.S.C.  1331. 
Venue proper this district pursuant U.S.C.  1391(e). 
PARTIES 
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. not-for-profit, educational organization 
incorporated under the laws the District Columbia and headquartered 425 Third Street 
S.W., Suite 800, Washington, 20024. Plaintiff seeks promote transparency, 
accountability, and integrity government and fidelity the rule law. part its mission, 
Plaintiff regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes 
the responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public inform them about "what their government to." Defendant U.S. Department Defense agency the United States 
Government and headquartered 1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington, 20301. 
Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. 
STATEMENT FACTS June 2014, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant, certified mail, seeking access "any and all records concerning, regarding, relating the determinations the Secretary the U.S. Department Defense" transfer five non-U.S. citizens detained the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba the State Qatar. The request specified that the transfer took place May 31, 2014. letter dated June 2014, Defendant acknowledged receiving Plaintiffs request June 2014. The letter also stated that Defendant had assigned the request Case Number 14-F-0931. email dated July 17, 2014, Defendant requested clarification Plaintiffs  
request. email dated July 22, 2014, Plaintiff clarified that was requesting  

any and all Secretary Defense memos signed before May 31, 2014, that approved the release the five Guantanamo Bay detainees exchanged for Sgt. Bowe Berdahl, who included: 
Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa Mullah Mohammad Fazi 
Mullah orullah Noori 
Abdula Haq Wasiq Mohammad Nabi Omari. addition, Plaintiff also clarified that was requesting 

copies any "determinations" made the Secretary Defense determining 
that the aforementioned detainees are longer threat U.S. national security, such determinations are considered separate and apart from the "memos" that the Secretary Defense may have signed approving the release the five detainees. According Section 1035(a)(l) the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, signed President Obama December 26, 2013, the Secretary the U.S. Department Defense authorized "to transfer release any individual detained [the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba] the individual's country origin, any foreign country, THE SECRETARY DETERMINES ... THAT THE INDIVIDUALS LONGER THREAT THE NATIONAL SECURITY THE UNITED STATES." [emphasis added]. Pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A)(i), Defendant was required determine 
whether comply with the request within twenty (20) working days Plaintiffs July 22, 2014 clarification and notify Plaintiff immediately its determination, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse determination. Defendant's determination was due August 19, 2014 the latest. 
10. the date this complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) determine whether 
comply with the request; (ii) notify Plaintiff any such determination the reasons therefor; 
(iii) advise Plaintiff the right appeal any adverse determination; (iv) produce the 
requested records otherwise demonstrate that the requested records are exempt from 
production. 
11. Because Defendant has failed comply with the time limit set forth U.S.C. 
 552(a)(6)(A), Plaintiff deemed have exhausted any and all administrative remedies 
pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(C). 
COUNT 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 

12. 
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 

13. 
Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff pursuant 

U.S.C.  552. 
14. Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant's unlawful 
withholding records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request, and Plaintiff will continue 
irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its conduct the requirements 
the law. 
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant 
conduct search for any and all responsive records Plaintiffs FOIA request and demonstrate 
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non
exempt records Plaintiffs FOIA request and Vaughn index any responsive records 
withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and 
all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request; (4) grant Plaintiff award attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred this action pursuant U.S.C.  
552(a)(4)(E); and (5) grant Plaintiff such other relief the Court deems just and proper. 
Dated: November 18, 2014 Respectfully submitted, 
Isl Jason Aldrich 
Jason Aldrich 
D.C. Bar No. 495488 
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. 
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800 Washington, 20024 
Tel: (202) 646-5172 
Counsel for Plaintiff