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Judicial Watch, Inc. v. CIA, No. 16-449, 2018 WL 1885665 (D.D.C. Apr. 19, 2018) (Jackson, J.)


Judicial Watch, Inc. v. CIA, No. 16-449, 2018 WL 1885665 (D.D.C. Apr. 19, 2018) (Jackson, J.)

Re: Request for pornographic materials seized from Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements:  "[T]he Court has concluded that the CIA adequately 'demonstrat[ed] ... by sworn written submission that” the files at issue in this case have been properly designated as “exempted operational files[,]' 50 U.S.C. § 3141(f)(4)(A), and that even if the bin Laden raid qualifies as a 'special activity' for the purpose of the CIA Information Act, id. § 3141(c)(2), the special activity exception to the operational files exemption is inapposite, because the requested pornographic materials do not constitute 'information concerning' that special activity, id. § 3141(c), as the special activity exception requires."  The court explains that "[defendant's] Declaration details the agency's procedures for designating operational files, and for maintaining the files to ensure that designations remain valid over time, and [defendant] also avers that those procedures were followed with respect to the particular operational files that are likely to contain the requested pornographic materials."  Additionally, the court explains that "it cannot be seriously argued that Osama bin Laden’s collection of pornographic materials constitutes information about the raid of the compound that United States special forces conducted, as [plaintiff] concedes."
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District Court opinions
Procedural Requirements, Supplemental to Main Categories
Updated December 7, 2021