Jason Leopold of Al Jazeera writes:
The FBI released a heavily redacted document on Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings, Monday, which revealed the law-enforcement agency is continuing to investigate what it characterized as "controversial reporting" by the journalist, who died in a late-night car crash in Los Angeles in June.
The FBI turned over the three-page document to Al Jazeera and Ryan Shapiro, a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in FOIA research, in response to a joint-Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the agency.
The papers revealed that the FBI still considers Hastings' work highly sensitive; even the title of the case file has been withheld under a FOIA exemption that claims that the information, if disclosed, could interfere with an ongoing law-enforcement investigation.
One of the excerpts in the FBI document is completely redacted and marked "S" (for "secret") and "Per Army," under an exemption aimed at protecting national security. Additional redactions were used to protect techniques and procedures for law-enforcement investigations and prosecutions.
The documents revealed that on June 11, 2012, the FBI's Washington field office opened a file and submitted "unclassified media articles" to it in order "to memorialize controversial reporting by Rolling Stone magazine on June 7, 2012."
The articles in question included a lengthy investigative report published under Hastings' byline in Rolling Stone on June 7, 2012—"America’s Last Prisoner of War"—about 27-year-old U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl's deployment to the war in Afghanistan and his capture by the Taliban in June 2009. Bergdahl is believed to still be in the custody of the Taliban.
Jeff Light, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who filed the FOIA lawsuit, suggested opening such files on reporters was not common. "It's interesting [that] the FBI memorializes controversial reporting," he said.
Read the rest here.