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we heard, he has been honored with receiving the Pulitzer Prize, and we are certainly glad to have you here, Mr. Mears, to talk today about the importance of this issue to the news media, al- though I am always eager to say that this is not just an issue for the media. This is about the American citizens’ ability to get infor- mation that they need in order to arm themselves to be good citi- zens. But we look forward to your testimony here, your statement here soon.
Mark Tapscott is the Director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Tapscott has written exten- sively on the freedom of information and media issues. Before join- ing the Heritage Foundation in 1999, he served as a newspaper editor and reporter. He also worked in the Reagan administration and as Communications Director to the immediate former Chair- man of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch.
Sitting next to our Heritage Foundation representative today is Lisa Graves, who you have already heard something about, Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy for the American Civil Liberties Union. She is quite familiar, as you have heard, with members of this Committee, having served with Senator Leahy as his Chief Nominations Counsel. She has also served previously as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, so she is in- timately familiar with the burdens imposed by the Freedom of In- formation Act on Federal agencies. Ms. Graves, welcome back to Dirksen Room 226.
Meredith Fuchs is the General Counsel of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. In that capacity, she has become one of the top FOIA experts this city has to offer. She has previously served as a partner in the prestigious Washington law firm of Wiley, Rein and Fielding, and I am pleased to say we have worked together not just on the OPEN Government Act, but on other FOIA-related issues, as well. And I must say, the National Security Archive has one of the best websites and one of the most informative websites on this issue that I have seen, so I am glad you are here with us.
Finally, we are glad to have Thomas M. Susman with us here today. He is a partner at the law firm of Ropes and Gray LLP. He is also the former Chief Counsel of the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure and former General Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee under Senator Kennedy. He is widely recognized as one of the top FOIA experts in Washington, and I am grateful for all of the advice that he has provided my of- fice in helping to draft this legislation and working with Senator Leahy.
Unfortunately—this is the bad news—we have to ask each of you to keep your opening statement to about five minutes to start with to ensure we have plenty of time to hear from everybody, and then Senator Leahy and other Senators who arrive here will be able to ask you to amplify on those during the Q&A.
At this time, Ms. Cary, I would be glad to hear from you first. And if you will just remember to push that button, and the light indicates that your microphone is on so we can all hear you. Thank you.
09:04 Nov 08, 2005