More Very Partial FOIA Success

The FBI has sent me a largely uninteresting cover letter in response to an FOIA request filed when your grandfather was a small boy. The letter was originally sent in 2003 with a report about an investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) into FBI abuse of the so-called “wall” procedures, which regulated information sharing between intelligence agents on one side and prosecutors and criminal agents on the other.

Together with the cover letter, the report totals 244 pages, but will not be forthcoming from the FBI. As it was done by the OPR, it should come to me from the DoJ. The bureau also sent me a six-page list of the other page numbers (3 to 244, understandably) and next to each number is the text “Referral/direct.” If you don’t believe they could do anything this pointless, see here.

At the bottom of a fairly confusing letter from the FBI that came with the cover letter for the report, it says:

“The 242 pages withheld from the enclosed file originated with the Department of Justice and were referred to that agency for their review and direct response to you. Due to an administrative error, these pages have not previously been forwarded.”

I take this to mean that they only just sent the DoJ the other 242 pages to review for redaction. This despite the fact that on 10 May 2007, 9 August 2007, and 16 June 2008 the bureau wrote to assure me, “Currently your request is being reviewed by an analyst.” One can only wonder what the analyst was reviewing for over 14 months. All she had to do, apparently, is send me a two-page cover letter and pop the rest of the report in the internal post. How can that take more than a few minutes?

Whereas most FOIA requests generate an instant demand for money, followed by a long silence, this request (which was for other documents as well, and some of them have already been produced) led to a bewildering array of correspondence and much amusement on my part.

You can find a list of unsuccessful FOIA requests here, and a list of successful ones here.

Reposted from here.

Thanks Kevin...

I didn't know you had a sense of humor. ;)

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Obstruction and Incompetence at its Best

The atrocious transparency and absolute “zero” accountability around the 9/11 attacks and its subsequent investigation is one of the primary reasons that roughly 36% of Americans believe our government (including our so-called intelligence agencies) was either directly complicit in the attacks or knew they were coming and failed to act. It’s a shame to our democracy that so much information relating to the 9/11 attacks remain sealed just because the intelligence agencies remain obstructive and incompetent. There is no excuse for the continued blocking of this information, these intelligence agencies failed America on 9/11 and they failed us miserably. The non-intelligent agencies of the CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA, etc., too often hide behind the false vale of protecting national security and sources & methods. The problem is that the intelligence community did not protect America on 9/11, they failed badly, they got a friggin “F,” and Americans now have the right to know why. The intelligence agencies failures on 9/11 have cost this country 3,000 lives, over a hundred billion dollars of property damage, and probably trillions of economic loss. So get the friggin white-out from the drawers at the FBI and start redacting documents that every American has the constitutional right to see and review.

Great job Kevin, keep up the good work, you definitely have a lot more patience and perseverance than I have.