Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #FOIAFriday

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A #FOIAFriday thread.

This is the 4 year journey of one of my #FOIA requests.

On July 21, 2015, I filed a request with FBI for docs on Mushin al-Fadhli, who the US said was "the leader of a network of veteran al-Qaida operatives, sometimes called Khorasan Group"

Al-Fadhli was killed that day, according to DOD.

FBI responded to my request by stating al-Fadhli docs were located in an investigative file & exempt from disclosure

So I appealed, reminding FBI it has to conduct a search of all records and segregate non investigative docs

DOJ responded to my appeal a year later & remanded my request & said FBI would conduct another search

... Four years later, FBI responds and produced 3 pages of docs to me. Here's what it says.

FBI will now get credit for releasing docs when govt discloses its FOIA stats.

Read 4 tweets
NEW #FOIAFriday thread: Still being stonewalled in my ongoing lawsuit against govt agencies for docs on Mikhail Lesin, Putin's former media czar who was found dead in a DC hotel room w/blunt force injuries on his body due to drunken falls, authorities said.

See the highlight 1/
DOJ has invoked a rarely used exemption to justify the withholding of docs and one audio file: b7f, which is harm to a person, meaning if the info was disclosed it would endanger the person's life or safety

This lawsuit has been going on for 2 years and govt agencies such as DOJ have withheld thousands of pages of docs about rhe death of Putin's former media czar who they say simply died due to drunken falls.

Docs they have turned over are heavily redacted and indecipherable

Read 3 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
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
Happy #FOIAFriday: a thread about some stuff we’ve been sitting on for a minute about ICE detention.

This week, @DHSOIG continued its wrecking ball on the poor supervision the agency gives contractors, and the serious human consequences when that happens.

It gets worse.
CoreCivic employee from Stewart Detention stalks and harasses a man all the way back to Mexico after he’s deported.
Guy at Stewart takes a removal order and three months pass before he’s deported. All on the taxpayer dime and into the pockets of CoreCivic.
Read 21 tweets
The @FBI's FOIA chief appears to be confused as to my status as a member of the news media for purpose of assigning fees to my request.

I replied to his illegal denial of news media status in this administrative appeal to @TheJusticeDept, mailed today.…
Happy #FOIAFriday everyone.
Thank you to @RCFP for all of its vital work preserving press freedom in the United States in this fraught era, and thank you to its attorney @a_marshall_plan for speaking out against this absurd and pernicious denial.
Read 4 tweets
Okay let’s start #FOIAFriday.

You may remember hearing about how CoreCivic employees at the Stewart ICE prison in Georgia turned away @elrefugioga volunteers who wanted to visit with Jean Jimenez after his mother sought out their help because she was concerned for just safety.
Here’s the story from @JeremyLRedmon at @ajc:…

The reason CoreCivic offered was made up: Because Jean was in solitary he couldn’t have the same access to visitation, so his mother’s visit on the previous day (the day before Mother’s Day) used up his chance
So here’s what actually happened, as revealed by records disclosed in our #FOIA suit . . .
Read 9 tweets
NEW on this #FOIAFriday: For 8 yrs, Ive been receiving docs from FBI via #FOIA on Samir Khan, the US citizen & editor of AQ's official magazine killed in a CIA drone strike w/radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

Here's the latest, heavily redacted batch…
Fascinating disclosures in this new batch of FBI records, which coincides with Samir Khan's travels to Yemen and also includes a number of 302s of people who knew him and al-Awlaki.

Also, how a CIA related movie called Traitor taught some how to share emails without sending it
I've been writing about Samir Khan, based on these FBI documents I've obtained via #FOIA for six years.…
Read 3 tweets

I'm making digitally public 2 docs on US nuclear testing of W54 Davy Crockett nukes (W54).


Little Feller I
Little Feller II

Enable my work



today's released docs are in Pfeiffer Nuclear Weapon & National Security Digital Archive that includes >10,000 documents released to me under Freedom of Information Act... well as records I have scanned and created.

Please use this resource.

Today's #FOIAFriday documents are relevant for several reasons... part b/c they help estimate yield of Davy Crockett W54 nuclear weapon.

Which is probably "nominal" 20 tons.

We know this in part b/c that's yield which would provide these effect radii:

Read 8 tweets
Not sure if anyone is aware, but for more than two years, I//@BuzzFeedNews /@_rshapiro have had a #FOIA lawsuit against multiple intel agencies for documents on their assertions that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign/collusion. 1/
The agencies identified thousands of pages of documents and withheld the vast majority on national security grounds. Still, some were released and we are the only ones who have been successful in prying loose some of these records via #FOIA. 2/
So in light on the 4-page Barr memo characterizing the Mueller report (which we still haven't seen) I am reupping some of the stories I wrote from the cache of #FOIA docs on Russia interference in the 2016 campaign. These documents are from DHS, CIA, FBI, ODNI and State Dept. 3/
Read 23 tweets
A #FOIAFriday document thread:

Last Oct, when Trump announced DOD would send troops to the Southwest border, US Northern Command said the mission would be known as Operation Faithful Patriot.

I was curious how the operation name was chosen. So I FOIA'd NORTHCOM for docs 1/
It turns out that the commander of NORTHCOM made the very quick decision to name this operation Faithful Patriot (that's unusual). 2/
Some of the other names that were under consideration for the military's role at the Southwest border, based on the naming convention, were:

Faithful Guardian, Shield, Patriot, Sentinel
Vibrant Guardian, Patriot, Sentinel
Arden Joust (!), Patriot, Sentinel

Read 4 tweets
NEW #FOIAFriday: 17 yrs ago today, a detention facility was opened at #Guantanamo to indefinitely detain "war on terror" captives. Yet, operations remain shrouded in secrecy

So, I sought ALL the recent SOPs in hopes of lifting that veil. Here they are:…
Included in this cache of #Guantanamo Standard Operating Procedures I obtained via #FOIA: The latest version (redacted) of the force feeding procedures for hunger strikers (who are called nonreligious fasters).

(I obtained a complete unredacted SOP about five years ago)
I've spent the better part of the past decade trying to pry loose documents out of #Guantanamo via #FOIA. Been a long, hard slog.
Read 3 tweets

Remember, we never get to hear from John Kelly so this email he wrote to Nielsen when he was DHS Secretary that I obtained via #FOIA is a window into his thinking.

"I never get tired of hearing of how the previous administration let down American cits."
Here's another John Kelly email I obtained via #FOIA

This one from January 30, 2017. It follows news reports that DOJ/Sally Yates would not defend WH executive order on travel.

Kelly: Can she be ordered to defend the action or does she have some kind of attorney privilege?
Email I obtained via #FOIA from DHS.

Important instructions for John Kelly 🤵
Read 3 tweets
JUST IN from DOJ Office of Legal Counsel in response to my #FOIA

191 heavily redacted pages of emails, other docs, involving Brett Kavanaugh (228 pages withheld in full)
NEW via #FOIA: From 2003. Brett Kavanaugh shares his thoughts.
Here's a short email discussion from May 2003 between Ed Whelan and Brett Kavanaugh re: presidential power.

Email obtained by me from DOJ via #FOIA
Read 16 tweets
NEW from me

John Kelly Instructed DHS Official Not To Email Staff To Avoid Public Scrutiny

“FOIA is real and everyday here in the cesspool, and even federal court action on personal accounts is real.”

UPDATE to my John Kelly "FOIA IS REAL" email story:

DHS spox disputes Kelly sent email to a DHS official. Spox says Kelly sent email to private citizen who was bombarding him and others at the agencies w/emails. However, spox declined to provide evidence…
ALSO, two DHS officials told BuzzFeed News Kelly sent the email to another DHS official, disputing the DHS spox who said it was sent to a private citizen!

Read 3 tweets
This is remarkable: @NYSHCR is refusing to tell @housingrightsNY the names of landlords it is targeting as part of a compliance initiative with a popular NYC tax break, J-51, that requires landlord to limit rent increases on tenants:…
Remarkable because @NewYorkStateAG had a similar compliance initiative for another tax break, 421-A, which also resulted in letters being sent to scofflaw landlords. Anyone remember this?…
I filed a public records request w/ @NewYorkStateAG to see who they were targeting and got the list. So it's interesting to see another arm of NY state government argue that it can't disclose substantially the same information b/c it "would interfere with law enforcement"
Read 4 tweets
Shocked that @SEC_News, with its love of "complex track" processing and heavy redactions, has yet to win @IRE_NICAR's #GoldenPadlock award #FOIAFriday…
I'm getting ready to get 950 pgs of entirely redacted docs even though FOIA officer agreed they should be reviewed for factual + statistical items that aren't exempt. But then, of course, you go straight into complex track & wait 36 months -> effective denial #FOIAFriday
I'm sure other financial journalists @gmorgenson @eisingerj @RodBoydILM have had similar experiences. I'll be nominating SEC next year, for sure #FOIAFriday #GoldenPadlock…
Read 3 tweets

In my/@BuzzFeedNews ongoing #FOIA lawsuit against multiple govt agencies for documents on Mikhail Lesin, the founder of RT who authorities say got drunk, fell down numerous times in his DC hotel room and died, DOJ just sent me 32 pages of this.
#FOIAFriday: Here is an update on my/@BuzzFeedNews #FOIA lawsuit against multiple government agencies for documents on Mikhail Lesin, the founder of RT who authorities claim got drunk, fell down multiple times in his Dupont Circle hotel room and died. 1/
Read 8 tweets
Trump: Day 371
-Draws Boos During Davos Q&A
-Doesn't Apologize 4 Racist Tweets
-Missed Economic Growth Targets
-Wants $716B in Defense Spending
-Needs $24M for New Refrigerators
-Ending Funding 4 Space Station
-Tracking License Plates Across US
-"Great Friend" Steve Wynn Under🔥
Day 476 since Donald Trump admitted to sexual assault — yet he’s still in the Oval Office
Day 326 of NO EVIDENCE produced by Trump that his phones were tapped by Obama. #fakenews #TrumpLies
Read 47 tweets

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