December 31, 2014
Courthouse News Service

WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Defense Department is so far refusing to produce a report that discusses nuclear technology issues in Israel, in response to a researcher’s request for information.

The report at issue is called “Critical Technology Issues in Israel and NATO Countries,” written nearly three decades ago. It is not classified.

Grant Smith, founder of the Washington-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc., filed a request for the report under the Freedom of Information Act three years ago. When the government failed to produce the document, he followed up with a pro se complaint in September.

In a November answer, government lawyers argued simply that Smith had “failed to state a claim.”

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan is presiding over the matter and has expressed concern about the pace at which this case is proceeding.

“I’d like to know what is taking so long for a 386-page document,” she said at a Nov. 21st hearing in federal court in Washington. “The document was located some time ago.”

“It certainly wasn’t our intention to circumvent the procedures in this case,” said Special Asst. U.S. Attorney Laura Jennings. “Our thought was that it would, in fact, expedite the process.”

The report “Critical Technology Issues in Israel and NATO Countries” appears to involve super computers and nuclear capability. It was cited but not identified by title in The Jerusalem Post in a 1990 article, “Supercomputers Slow in Coming.”

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