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Kinney v. CIA, No. 16-5777, 2017 WL 1711006 (W.D. Wash. May 3, 2017) (Settle, J.)


Kinney v. CIA, No. 16-5777, 2017 WL 1711006 (W.D. Wash. May 3, 2017) (Settle, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning third party


Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 1, Glomar:  "The Court agrees that 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1) plainly applies to the requested records."  "The CIA's affidavit reasonably explains how confirming the existence or nonexistence of the records sought would reveal an unacknowledged human intelligence source, thereby (1) jeopardizing the Agency's ability to perform future intelligence activities with other human sources, and (2) exposing any potential sources that may have grown out of the initial source's service."  "Plaintiff's briefing admits that he seeks records on the very premise that they would reveal information regarding 'a variety of unknown clandestine assignments[.]'" Also, the court finds that, "contrary to Plaintiff's assertions, the CIA affidavit addresses specifically how the harms associated with disclosing the identity and existence of a human source remain, regardless of the requested records' age."
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  "The Court has already considered the CIA's supporting affidavits and concluded that 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1) was properly invoked in response to Plaintiff's request to the extent that Plaintiff seeks the disclosure of classified information about a purported former human intelligence source."  "Because the existence of such records is properly classified, the Court need not consider whether the CIA adequately searched through classified information to locate responsive documents."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 1
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Updated December 13, 2021