Sweeney Eviscerates Government Reasoning For “Protecting” Documents

Sweeney seems to have had enough of the government stonewalling and one can only surmise after this there are more releases coming in the future. If, as Berkowitz stated earlier today “this is only the tip of the iceberg”, then what is still being hidden from the public ought to at least start to get someone in the media other than the NYT’s Morgenstern curious as to what actually went and is going on here….

The media in general has been grossly negligent in its coverage here……more disclosure ought to change that as the vultures will then begin circling.

Read it in all its glory…..

While the court recognizes that protection of the Nation’s financial markets and fledgling financial institutions were legitimate goals when the court first entered its order, with the passage of time, the potential for harm to the Nation’s markets and then-fledgling financial institutions no longer exists. Instead of harm to the Nation resulting from disclosure, the only “harm” presented is the potential for criticism of an agency, institution, and the decision-makers of those entities. The court will not condone the misuse of a protective order as a shield to insulate public officials from criticism in the way they execute their public duties. Thus, avoidance of “second-guessing” an agency’s decisions several years after the fact, as described by Mr. Watt, is, with the passage of time no longer a legitimate basis to maintain documents under a protective order. The court notes that from the inception of this litigation, the government has consistently maintained that the court lacks jurisdiction over this case because the United States had no control over the enterprises. Taking the government at its word, it is surprising that defendant is concerned with the unsealing of government officials’ deposition testimony.

Moreover, there can be no serious dispute that it is extremely rare for a document filed under seal in a civil case to remain so for all time. There is no suggestion that the documents subject to the protective order are classified as relating to national security. Nor do these documents contain trade secrets or proprietary information. However, even cases in which trade secrets and proprietary information are filed under seal and subject to a protective order, it is not unusual that after the passage of time, that same information is eventually unsealed because the protective order has outlived its usefulness. Indeed, because the government does not argue that information that it requests remain protected concerns matters involving national security, trade secrets, or proprietary information, or that specific privileges attach to any of the seven documents, it is clear that there is no longer a need to maintain the protected designation for them.

Full order: (pdf)




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