Administration Agrees To Turn Over All
On Gay Spy Operation
Johnson, 365Gay.com Washington Bureau Chief
Web, April 22, 2006
Washington, Apr. 21.-- Faced
with a federal lawsuit after refusing to turn over a number of documents related
to spying on LGBT organizations the Pentagon and the Justice Department have
agreed to comply with freedom of information requests about the operation.
Last December media reports said that the Pentagon has been spying on
“suspicious” meetings by civilian groups, including student groups opposed to
the military’s "don't ask, don't tell".)
The reports said that the Pentagon had spied on New York University law school’s
LGBT advocacy group OUTlaw and gay groups at the State University of New York at
Albany and William Patterson College in New Jersey.
In February, the DoD acknowledged in a letter to the Senate Armed Services
Committee that it had ‘inappropriately’ collected information on protestors but
did not name any of the organizations.
That same month the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and about a dozen other
LGBT groups filed a lawsuit to obtain information related to the government’s
domestic spy program when the Pentagon turned down a Freedom of Information Act
U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer directed both sides to attempt to
mediate the issue before going to trial. The Defense and Justice
Departments capitulated Thursday and agreed to turn over all relevant
Under the agreement, signed off on by Collyer, the Defense Intelligence Agency
must turn over its documents by April 27, Defense by May 4 and Justice by May
"We anticipate the government's full compliance with Judge Collyer's order and
we insist the government refrain from any future surveillance," SLDN
spokesperson Steve Ralls told 365Gay.com.
"Private citizens exercising their constitutional freedom of free speech are not
a terror threat, but everyone's freedom is threatened when our government
implements Orweillian policies that peep through key holes and watch our every
Both SLDN and the administration were ordered to return to court this summer to
ensure that the terms of the agreement had been met.
Earlier this month the Department of Defense admitted that it had spied on
groups opposed to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell".