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August 28, 2010

FOIA Update: Tenet Memo Found

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 11:47 am
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The CIA has got back to me about the Tenet ‘We Are at War’ memo with amazing speed. I had filed an FOIA request for the memo a few weeks ago. Instead of saying they couldn’t find it, wanted me to pay thousands of dollars to look and then probably wouldn’t give it to me anyway, they’re telling me they have found it (somebody else has already asked), they only want 10 cents a page for copying (I thought you were supposed to get some pages free?) and won’t give it to me anyway (and won’t definitely tell me they won’t give it to me anyway for a very long, but indeterminate period of time). This is real progress!

Anyway, this is the actual text of the CIA’s reply:

We are currently processing a request for the same records from another requester. Once our research and review of that request is completed, we will forward to you the same CIA-originated records, if released. We will charge you ten cents per page for copies of the relased material. We have a substantial backlog, which we are working diligently to reduce, so we are unable to estimate when we will complete our review. However, we will notify you once the processing of the original request is complete.

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August 18, 2010

New FOIA Request: “We Are at War” Memo

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 8:57 am
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I have filed a new FOIA request, this time for a CIA memo drafted by former agency Director George Tenet on December 4, 1998 in the follow-up to the East African Embassy Bombings. It was entitled “Usama bin Laden” and concerns CIA operations against al-Qaeda. It was sent to several leading CIA officials and his deputy for intelligence community management. Apparently on page 2, it states: “We are at war. I want no resources or people spared in this effort, either inside the CIA or the Community.” The directive has been mentioned repeatedly in numerous accounts, including the 9/11 Commission’s report and Tenet’s own book, At the Center of the Storm.

A list of successful FOIA requests can be found here and unsuccessful ones here.

June 24, 2010

Unsuccessful FOIA Requests (Updated, June 2010)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 2:36 am
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This is a reposting, with one more failed FOIA request being added at the bottom (item number 10). For a list of successful FOIA requests see here.

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June 21, 2010

New FOIA Request: Compensation Payments Made to 9/11 Commissioners

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 1:18 am
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I have filed a new FOIA request. It is for records of compensation payments made to the eleven people who sat on the 9/11 Commission and was submitted to the General Services Adminsitration, which I understand has some records related to admin work for the commission.

The compensation payments were basically salary by another name. As far as I can tell based on partial records Erik found at the National Archives, not all the commissioners were collecting them, and most of the ones who did got not very much. However, one of the commissioners had himself paid an amount probably not that far south of US$ 100,000, which is not chump change, and it would be interesting to know exactly how much he got.

A list of successful FOIA requests can be found here and unsuccessful ones here.

June 18, 2010

New FOIA Request: NSA’s 9/11 Retrospective

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 11:26 am
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I have filed a new FOIA request. It is for the NSA’s 9/11 retrospective, which collected communications intercepts relevant to the 9/11 plot. The request is also for the addendum to the retrospective, which was the subject of an earlier blog post.

The NSA has previously turned down a couple of FOIA requests and I don’t expect much, but if you don’t take a shot, you don’t score a goal.

A list of successful FOIA requests can be found here and unsuccessful ones here.

November 12, 2009

Successful FOIA Requests (Updated, November 2009)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 4:22 am
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This is a reposting, with one more document obtained being added at the bottom of the Catcher’s Mitt section. For a list of unsuccessful FOIA requests see here.

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More Very Partial FOIA Success

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 4:10 am
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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.

June 10, 2009

Unsuccessful FOIA Requests (Updated, June 2009)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 2:57 pm
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This is a reposting, with one more failed FOIA request being added at the bottom (item number 9). For a list of successful FOIA requests see here.

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February 20, 2009

Unsuccessful FOIA Requests (Updated, February 2009)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 3:39 pm
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This is a reposting, with one more failed FOIA request being added at the bottom (item number 8). For a list of succesful FOIA requests see here.

 

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October 31, 2008

NSA Replies to FOIA Request: No Chance!

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 10:02 am
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The NSA has replied to one of my FOIA requests. You can find the post about the request being made here. It was for four documents related to restrictions on the distribution of NSA intercepts inside the FBI:

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