Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit to Force FBI to Release 9/11 Pentagon Videotapes
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a lawsuit and an "Application for a Preliminary Injunction" with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to force the release of videotapes confiscated by law enforcement from areas surrounding the Pentagon on 9/11 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Case No. 06-1135). Judicial Watch also filed a formal request for a court hearing on the matter to occur on or before July 12, 2006. The FBI admits it has videotapes responsive to Judicial Watch's original Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but refuses to release them.
"As Judicial Watch has a statutory right to the tapes at issue under FOIA [Freedom of Information Act], and there no longer is any legal justification or excuse for the FBI's failure to make the tapes publicly available, there is no reason to delay production of the videotapes any longer," Judicial Watch argued in its court filings.
Judicial Watch originally filed a Freedom of Information Act request on December 15, 2004 seeking all records pertaining to September 11, 2001 camera recordings of the Pentagon attack from the Sheraton National Hotel, the Nexcomm/Citgo gas station, Pentagon security cameras and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The FBI admitted in a May 22, 2005 letter that it possessed videotapes responsive to Judicial Watch's request. However, the FBI refused to release the videotapes. Judicial Watch filed an appeal on April 4, 2005. The FBI had until May 3, 2005 to respond, but failed to do so, prompting Judicial Watch to take action.
"Why does the FBI continue to play games with the open records process? There is no valid legal reason to withhold these videos from the American people. Yet there is enormous public interest in having them released. These tapes may show us nothing in the end, but it is important to complete the public record of that horrible attack," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch obtained two Department of Defense videos of the 9/11 Pentagon attack on May 16, 2006, which have been viewed more than 1.5 million times online.
Click here to view JW's complaint, click here to view JW's request for hearing, click here to view JW's application for a preliminary injunction.
Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation's public life.