Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #FOIA

Most recents (24)

Newly released FBI interview notes w/ former Deputy Associate AG #BruceOhr show info gathered against @realDonaldTrump by former #British #Spy Christopher Steele for @HillaryClinton was distributed to @BarackObama’s @FBI and @StateDept in 2016.

(Thread 👇)…
@realDonaldTrump @HillaryClinton @BarackObama @FBI @StateDept #BruceOhr told @FBI agents during a Nov. 2016, interview that “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the [@HillaryClinton] campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI,” according to notes made public by @JudicialWatch.
@realDonaldTrump @HillaryClinton @BarackObama @FBI @StateDept @JudicialWatch .@JudicialWatch has repeatedly used the #FOIA to break major stories in the #RussiaInvestigation saga, and released 34 pages of @FBI 302s, the form agents use to document their interviews.…
Read 18 tweets
#NellieOhr, wife of @TheJusticeDept's Associate Deputy AG #BruceOhr, handed her husband the “Manafort Chronology,” a dossier of research on former Trump-campaign chairman #PaulManafort in Dec 2016, according to @FBI docs released Aug. 8.

(Thread 👇)…
@TheJusticeDept @FBI Nellie Ohr compiled the Manafort report as part of her work for #FusionGPS. The @HillaryClinton campaign and the @DNC paid Fusion GPS $1 million to conduct opposition research on then-candidate @realDonaldTrump.
@TheJusticeDept @FBI @HillaryClinton @DNC @realDonaldTrump The revelation about the Manafort report is part of a batch of @FBI docs memorializing the bureau’s interviews with #BruceOhr.

@JudicialWatch obtained the docs as part of a #FOIA lawsuit against the bureau.…
Read 11 tweets
#FOIA thread screed

FBI, the WORST agency when it comes to transparency, the agency that routinely violates #FOIA, has ONLY NOW, after NEARLY A YEAR OF LITIGATION, decided to tell me & @BuzzFeedNews that it is withholding the report on its "investigation" into Brett Kavanaugh
@BuzzFeedNews The FBI cites an exemption that is laughable to justify the withholding of its report on Brett Kavanaugh investigation: the presidential communication privilege. This leads me to believe there was interference related to the release of this report.

@BuzzFeedNews The bureau ignores that this report was sent to Congress, and that lawmakers lead calls to conduct this investigation.

We intend to litigate the shit out of this.

Read 5 tweets
From Politico re: my/@BuzzFeedNews/@EPICprivacy #FOIA lawsuit to unredact Mueller report

Judge signals interest in removing Mueller report redactions
‘That’s what open government is all about,’ Judge Reggie Walton said during court arguments
@BuzzFeedNews @EPICprivacy “It’s something that frankly ripped this country apart,” argued BuzzFeed News Matt Topic (@mvtopic), regarding the competing and often bitterly partisan claims surrounding the credibility of Mueller’s investigation. “The people deserve to know as much as they possibly can.”
@BuzzFeedNews @EPICprivacy @mvtopic While Walton has the power to issue an opinion that goes directly to the BuzzFeed and EPIC FOIA lawsuit, he’s also weighing another incremental step the two organizations have requested. Essentially, they asked Walton to conduct his own review of the unredacted Mueller report
Read 4 tweets
NEW in my/@BuzzFeedNews/@EPICprivacy's #FOIA lawsuit

A federal judge today pressed DOJ on why the public shouldn't be allowed to see redacted portions of Mueller's report, suggesting he may be willing to consider releasing some of the restricted document…
Great work @mvtopic and @EPICprivacy !

Judge Walton raised that prospect to Enlow, suggesting that the DOJ officials tasked with making the FOIA exemptions could have been following directions from higher-ups. He cited his own time working in DOJ, saying that sometimes "the body does what the heads wants."
Read 4 tweets
NEW #FOIA thread: Via docs that NSA IG declassified in response to my FOIA lawsuit

In 2014, NSA IG finished an investigation in response to a complaint that an agency employee failed to report a FISA violation

(This is only being made public now because of #FOIA)

This is the substance of the complaint

The employee or the contractor notified the author of the relevant software program within one day, and the author “immediately” wrote new code that caused the information to be deleted.

Read 6 tweets
MAJOR #FOIA news. A bipartisan bill was introduced last night -- The new Open and Responsive Government Act of 2019 --- by @SenatorLeahy @ChuckGrassley @SenFeinstein & @JohnCornyn to address recent SCOTUS action on #FOIA & EPA's recent move to undermine ##FOIA

This is the first substantive change to #FOIA since passage of #FOIA Improvement Act in 2016 that Obama signed into law, which was supposed to make it easier for requesters to obtain docs

That hasn't worked out as federal agencies have sought new ways to withhold records

Kudos to @OpenTheGov and other groups fighting for transit and open government that worked on this bipartisan bill. Still a lot of work to do to improve #FOIA but this is a good start

Read 3 tweets
Today is 74th anniversary of Trinity nuclear test—the world’s 1st nuclear detonation—near Socorro, New Mexico.


We live still in the shadow of the bomb, cowering in its darkness and calling that “peace.”

Trinity Test (OTD 1946): nuclear detonation of Fat Man implosion design US used to attack city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1946.

approx 6.4kg delta phase Pu (3% gallium) solid core design w/internal beryllium-polonium neutron initiator.

5,000lbs of HE

HT @casillac pic 1

Trinity test (otd 1946) produced significant local and near-local fallout.

Ex: a whole community got at least 8.2 rads &...oh well!

Not even taking into account less than great pre-shot surveying & rad safety efforts.

Health was sacrificed to secrecy.
Read 11 tweets
NEW #FOIA/Mueller thread

In response to my/@BuzzFeedNews FOIA lawsuit for every document Mueller's office collected during its probe, a DOJ atty made this extraordinary claim in court docs last night: THE APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF RESPONSIVE DOCS IS MORE THAN 19 BILLION PAGES

DOJ claims the FBI alone would have to process approximately 18 BILLION PAGES.

DOJ came up with this number by saying it would process records from 2300 media devices which have a combined storage capacity of 240 tb. If filled that's the equivalent of 18 BILLION pages.

While I have long dreamed about getting the govt to give me documents until long after I die this is ludicrous. We dispute DOJ's estimates.

DOJ is suggesting the number of responsive records Mueller collected is twice as large all records stored by the Library of Congress

Read 6 tweets
(1) Within an hour or two of sending out #FOIA requests, the federal #TwatWaffles geared up their attack.

First a DM from a French "Honey Pot," addressing me in French, claiming to be a "single" mother with a child.

She immediately asked me how old I was & where I was located.
(2) She also let me know that "Long distance relationships made her nervous."

Zero followers. Zero tweets. Zero retweets.

She was following quite a few people, who are being extra traditionally targeted by the US government, through #ThreatFusionCenters.
(3) Then a few hours ago, I received this request, from someone who is not showing any Twitter activity for more than a year.
Read 5 tweets
ICE discussed cutting off visitation programs at the for-profit migrant prison in Lumpkin, GA for "known adversary" @elrefugioga, one of the only service-oriented nonprofits in Stewart, as retaliation for holding a vigil remembering the life of Jean Jimenez #DetentionKills #FOIA
Here's the Significant Incident Report (SIR) ICE officials drafted and send to HQ about the memorials seeking #JusticeforJean:

And here's ICE officials sharing a screenshot of a web portal demonstrating that, despite at least a half-dozen supervisors responding to questions from ICE HQ about Jean's mental health status, his segregation logs DO NOT note his MH diagnoses or his prior suicide attempts.
Read 8 tweets
NEW #FOIA thread (for the natsec community)

5 years ago, I filed a #FOIA request with NSA for semiannual reports its internal watchdog sent to Congress dating ack 10 yrs.

I finally rec'd a nice cache of these reports. Here's why they are impt docs

The NSA, as many folks know, is an agency that conducts almost all of its work in secret. Almost everything is highly classified.

These reports provide enormous insight into what has taken place under the cover of secrecy over the years at the agency.

For example

The reports also lay bare issues the NSA had to contend with related to waste, fraud and abuse.

For example, the NSA IG investigated two employees for "misrepresentation before the government and misuse of government resources."

Read 7 tweets
#Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission, @NHRCTweets, a public body bound by the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), has in the past week ordered all its staff to sign & subscribe to forms of "Oath of Secrecy" - very much like a #SecretCult
Issued under directive of the Executive Secretary of @NhrcTweets, the #SecrecyOath applies to all staff of @NhrcTweets. The leadership of the Commission claims that the oath of Secrecy is required by Rule 62 of the Commission's Standing Orders & Rules of Procedure, #STORP
Contrary to the claims of the leadership of @NhrcTweets, however, the Standing Orders & Rules of Procedure, #STORP, of the Commission don't in any way support #SecrecyOaths. Quite clearly, the leadership have chosen to mis-represent the relevant rules of the #STORP
Read 9 tweets
Periodic reminder: No matter how bad you think it is, the stuff inside the government's records is worse than you think. #FOIA #LaterGram
It appears three Cuban nationals who were being imprisoned outside the El Paso PDN Border Patrol station that was the subject of an OIG management alert slit their wrists using the fencing of the station on THE EXACT SAME DAY OIG, ICE, and CBP were having a call about conditions.
A reminder of what these three Cuban men would have seen and experienced in the days, possibly weeks, before they attempted to harm themselves . . .
Read 5 tweets
NEW evening #FOIA thread

An impt #Guantanamo detainee related document I obtained via Mandatory Declassification Review I filed with DOD 7 YEARS AGO

This is a report about the mental health of detainees and the reliability of intel they provided to their captors

This particular report grew out of a prior DOD investigation into whether #Guantanamo detainees were given mind altering drugs to facilitate interrogations.

(@jeff_kaye broke that story open in 2012 based on a docs we obtained)

@jeff_kaye This investigation was conducted to
determine whether JTF GTMO intel reports included
information regarding the detainees' mental health status or their history of medication with substances and to determine the possible effect on finished intelligence.

Read 9 tweets
NEW via my #FOIA: Anatomy of a leak investigation

In 2013, @POGOBlog obtained a copy of a secret DOD IG report that probed the unauthorized disclosure of TS info to Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers

These 326 pgs lay bare DOD's efforts to catch the leaker…
@POGOBlog I NEED TO CLARIFY: This is DOD's efforts to catch the individual who leaked the report to
@POGOBlog NOT to the ZDT filmmakers.…
These documents includes transcripts of interviews with individuals suspected of leaking. Very rare to see documents like this released about government leak investigations.
Read 3 tweets
Here’s a new #FOIA doc obtained through @MuckRock about OIG’s El Paso Border Hold Stations Report:…

The things Border Patrol, Coast Guard, and DoD personnel told @DHSOIG investigators during spot visits are chilling.
Essentially, they admit the “humanitarian” problem with packing single adults into 80-degree hold rooms like sardines, but say if there’s not ICE detention or prosecution, the flows of migrants won’t decrease.

That means @DHSgov is using these conditions of confinement to deter
OIG also heard stories of BP agents moving up their retirement dates, seeking transfers to other agencies, having increased drinking, domestic violence, and financial problems because of the human toll seeing these atrocities is taking on front-line agents. #CloseTheCampsNow
Read 12 tweets
Ronald Harmon Brown. Aka Ron Brown. 👇🏻

1. @FBI vault release of Ronald Harmon Brown aka Ron Brown.
I’ll be highlighting details in this thread that stand out in this #FOIA release and then dig moar later. Already seeing 💥’s from previous digs standing out!
Read 10 tweets
NEW: #FOIAFriday thread

I just got these docs related to the agency's torture program from CIA after a 5 year #FOIA battle. These are the sole source contracts between CIA & James Mitchell & Bruce Jessen, psychologists credited as being the program's architects

BUT 1/
Included in these documents are also their Statement of Work after they formed their company, Mitchell & Jessen, in 2005. So these are contracts from 2005 onward.

It's the Statement of Work that's interesting.

The 2 psychologists credited as being architects of CIA torture program proposed in 2005 hiring a psychologist to oversee the "weaponization of psychology in the war on terror" through interrogation of detainees to support a CIA project known as "Terrorist Think Tank" or T3

Read 8 tweets
From the archives: WH chief of staff John Kelly called Elizabeth Warren an “impolite arrogant woman” in a private email he exchanged with his top aide following a telephone conversation with her in which she criticized the Trump admin’s 2017 travel ban…
Warren called Trump’s travel ban illegal during a protest she attended soon after Trump issued the executive order at Logan International Airport in Boston, where a number of people were detained

Kelly, who at the time was DHS Secretary, sent the email to his aide who said this
After I obtained this email via #FOIA and published a story about it, Warren sent out a campaign fundraiser further taking Kelly to task over the administration's immigration policies and his remarks about her.
Read 3 tweets
A #FOIAFriday thread (story)

For years, I have been asking the CIA, via #FOIA, to declassify hundreds of IG reports and audits concerning misconduct

Because the agency was moving very slowly I sued and eventually CIA started to process and release docs such as this one...

On Nov 7 2013, CIA Office of General Counsel contacted IG to say that a "concerned employee" reported that another employee may be in violation of the endangered species act regarding the sale of "illegal items" on what I found is an internal CIA craigslist/ebay type platform

Specifically, the CIA employee put up for sale on an internal CIA site called SQUAWK (gonna FOIA that) a "Genuine Elephant' s foot with Zebra pelt top stool" (cc @yashar).

On Nov 12, 2013 CIA inspector general launched an investigation.

Read 10 tweets
We don't know why the feds just raided the 34th Ward office of Ald. Carrie Austin. But we know lots about Austin, who's been a member of the City Council for 25 years. Shall we go over some of that history? /1…
It could prove ironic Austin was one of the aldermen who expressed deep dismay at then-colleague Danny Solis when it was revealed earlier this year that he wore a wire on Ed Burke. "You just don't do that," Austin said, shaking her head /2…
Austin also was an unabashed defender of nepotism after I wrote this @Suntimes column about her hiring son Kenny as 34th Ward Streets and San ward sup. Problem was Kenny did not even have a valid driver's license - a requirement for the job 3/…
Read 15 tweets
NEW/THREAD: For 8 yrs, I've been receiving docs from FBI via #FOIA on Samir Khan, the US citizen & editor of AQ's magazine who was killed in a CIA drone strike w/radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

The latest cache, 457 pgs

These are impt docs

These docs show that Khan initially landed on FBI's radar because of incendiary posts he wrote on his blog about becoming a martyr, jihad and his desire to attack US troops.

It shows that FBI's response to Islamic terrorism in mid 2000s differs from domestic terrorism today

The FBI's concerns about Khan's blog posts led the bureau to conduct surveillance on him, interview his friends and former colleagues, in an effort to build a case where Khan could be prosecuted.

Read 5 tweets
To #Immigration journo twitter - If you're thinking about how to document the politicization and the abuses in the upcoming #ICEraids, here are a few #FOIA productions we got back in 2017 on the agency's #MuslimBan distraction raids in L.A. and Austin:…
One angle: Keep an eye on Administratively Uncontrolled Overtime:……
Read 7 tweets

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