CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* The Army decided yesterday that there was nothing that needed to be classified in the eight page section on Afghanistan from the IMCS!

Posted by DXer on January 23, 2018

The USAMRMC FOIA officer Rogers advises:

USAMRIID researchers reviewed an eight page section on Afghanistan from Interim Major Case Summary yesterday. They did not find any information that needed to be considered classified or Secret and notified the FBI as such.

We can thank them for turning to the issue notwithstanding the off and on again furlough.

8 Responses to “* The Army decided yesterday that there was nothing that needed to be classified in the eight page section on Afghanistan from the IMCS!”

  1. DXer said

    February 5, 2020 Order:


    On January 17, 2019, this Court addressed the parties’ first round of summary judgment briefings in this Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) suit. Dillon v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, No. 17-1716 (RC), 2019 WL 249580 (D.D.C. Jan. 17, 2019). Therein, the Court discussed Plaintiff Kenneth Dillon’s second FOIA request for Interim Major Case Summary (“IMCS”) excerpts, which Defendant withheld in full pursuant to a claim of deliberative process privilege. See id. at *7–9. To assess the FBI’s assertion that the entirety of the IMCS report is deliberative, the Court directed the FBI to produce the 38 withheld pages for the Court’s in camera review. Id. at *8–9. Defendant responded by notifying the Court that the IMCS records contain classified information, Def.’s Notice ¶ 1, ECF No. 32, and thereafter provided the classified material for the Court’s review. The Court’s in camera review of the 38 pages of ICMS excerpts indicates that only a small portion of the material produced is classified. Thus, the Court directs Defendant to provide the Court with a redacted version of the material (with classified information excised), including specification of which FOIA exemption(s) are claimed with respect to which portions of the Case 1:17-cv-01716-RC Document 48 Filed 02/05/20 Page 1 of 2 2 document, that is suitable for in camera review by a law clerk who does not possess any level of security clearance. It is hereby ORDERED that, within two weeks, Defendant shall produce such a redacted version of the 38 pages of ICMS excerpts. SO ORDERED. Dated: February 5, 2020 RUDOLPH CONTRERAS United States District Judge

  2. DXer said

    DOJ writes:

    “Defendant notes that the CIA has not filed a declaration in this action asserting Exemption 1 to the classified information withheld by the FBI. On June 14, 2019, FBI RIDS requested that the CIA provide a declaration asserting such withholdings, which Defendant will subsequently file with the Court. See Seidel Decl. ¶ 109.”

    What? DOJ consulted with USAMRIID scientists, and were advised by USAMRIID that NOTHING needed to be classified about the Ames strain being detected in Afghanistan.

    Is the DOJ going to disclose that fact to the United States District Court? (I’m still working my way through the DOJ’s filing).

  3. DXer said | Tunisia arrests two over foiled biological attack in Germany

    Written by Alfredo Boyd on September 18, 2018
    Tunisian authorities said on Friday they had arrested two suspects in connection with a biological bomb plot thwarted by police in Germany in June.

    The two men are suspected of links to 29-year-old Tunisian Sief Allah H. who was arrested in Germany in possession of the deadly poison ricin and bomb-making material, the interior ministry said.

  4. DXer said

    Secrecy News

    CIA Defends Selective Disclosure to Reporters

    Posted on Feb.15, 2018 in CIA, FOIA, Intelligence by Steven Aftergood
    The Central Intelligence Agency said yesterday that it has the right to disclose classified information to selected journalists and then to withhold the same information from others under the Freedom of Information Act.

    FOIA requester Adam Johnson had obtained CIA emails sent to various members of the press including some that were redacted as classified. How, he wondered, could the CIA give information to uncleared reporters — in this case Siobhan Gorman (then) of the Wall Street Journal, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, and Scott Shane of the New York Times — and yet refuse to give it to him? In an effort to discover the secret messages, he filed a FOIA lawsuit.

    His question is a good one, said Chief Judge Colleen MacMahon of the Southern District of New York in a court order last month. “The issue is whether the CIA waived its right to rely on otherwise applicable exemptions to FOIA disclosure by admittedly disclosing information selectively to one particular reporter [or three].”

    “In this case, CIA voluntarily disclosed to outsiders information that it had a perfect right to keep private,” she wrote. “There is absolutely no statutory provision that authorizes limited disclosure of otherwise classified information to anyone, including ‘trusted reporters,’ for any purpose, including the protection of CIA sources and methods that might otherwise be outed. The fact that the reporters might not have printed what was disclosed to them has no logical or legal impact on the waiver analysis, because the only fact relevant to waiver analysis is: Did the CIA do something that worked a waiver of a right it otherwise had?”

    Judge MacMahon therefore ordered CIA to prepare a more rigorous justification of its legal position. It was filed by the government yesterday.

    CIA argued that the court is wrong to think that limited, selective disclosures of classified information are prohibited or unauthorized by law. The National Security Act only requires protection of intelligence sources and methods from “unauthorized” disclosure, not from authorized disclosure. And because the disclosures at issue were actually intended to protect intelligence sources and methods, they were fully authorized, CIA said. “The CIA properly exercised its broad discretion to provide certain limited information to the three reporters.”

    “The Court’s supposition that a limited disclosure of information to three journalists necessarily equates to a disclosure to the public at large is legally and factually mistaken,” the CIA response stated. “The record demonstrates beyond dispute that the classified and statutorily protected information withheld from the emails has not entered the public domain. For these reasons, the limited disclosures here did not effect any waiver of FOIA’s exemptions.”

    A reply from plaintiff Adam Johnson is due March 1. (Prior coverage: Tech Dirt, Intel Today).

    Selective disclosure of classified information to uncleared reporters is a more or less established practice that is recognized by Congress, which has required periodic reporting to Congress of such disclosures. See Disclosing Classified Info to the Press — With Permission, Secrecy News, January 4, 2017.

    The nature of FOIA litigation is such that a lawsuit that was intended to challenge the practice of selective disclosure could, if unsuccessful, end up ratifying and reinforcing it.

    Comment: The detection of Ames in Afghanistan by both the FBI and CIA was reported to NAS, though lots of details were withheld as to location. (Hint: It was at Yazid Sufaat’s laboratory and in correspondence with this blog he does not deny working with virulent Ames — he pleads the Fifth.)

  5. DXer said

    “What are you going to do, Mrs. Graham?”

  6. DXer said

    There are close parallels with the other investigation in the news. But in case Senator Grassley doesn’t already know it, the DOJ and FBI snickers at the thought of there being effective Congressional oversight.

    Byron York: ‘Hide the ball’ — On Capitol Hill, growing frustration with FBI secrecy
    by Byron York | Jan 24, 2018, 4:54 PM

    Republicans in both House and Senate are growing increasingly frustrated with the Federal Bureau of Intelligence and Justice Department over tight restrictions on classified and other confidential information ….

    The restrictions mean the FBI and Justice Department control what congressional investigators may see; under what conditions they may see it; and what they may make public. The practical result is that voters remain in the dark about hugely consequential events going on in Washington.


    the FBI, appearing to protect its own actions and prerogatives, has made congressional oversight an exercise in pulling teeth, and members of Congress are tired of it.

    That frustration could be heard Wednesday in a speech from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


    The FBI “falsely claimed” — Grassley’s words — that a portion of the document was classified and thus held up release. The information was not classified, Grassley said — it was based on “non-government sources” and “the deputy attorney general has discussed the fact at issue with me more than once in an unsecure space and on an unsecure phone line.”


    In that Senate speech, Grassley also expressed frustration about FBI and Justice Department foot dragging … The department has provided “very limited access” to classified information and “tried to severely limit” the congressional staff who can review documents. That has slowed work to a snail’s pace.

    “Based what I know, I agree that as much of this information should be made public as soon as possible, through the appropriate process,” Grassley said of the House memo. “And, I don’t just mean the summary memos. The government should release the underlying documents referenced in those memos, after deleting any national security information that truly needs to be protected. But most of this story can be told, and should be told. The American people deserve the truth.”


    Judging from their behavior so far, the FBI and Justice Department would be happy if none of the information were ever made public. But the issue is just too important — after all, many Democrats hope to use the Trump-Russia affair to remove the president from office — for the evidence to remain secret. Pressure is mounting to let the public see what the FBI, Justice Department, and congressional investigators already know.

  7. DXer said

    But the FBI seems nonetheless determined to play hide the ball with the memo.

    Grassley suspects ‘bureaucratic game of hide the ball’ by the FBI and DOJ

    “It sure looks like a bureaucratic game of hide the ball, rather than a genuine concern about national security,” Grassley said in a speech on the Senate floor.”

    He also said that the FBI is not acting as if this information would harm national security if released, and that other entities who received the memo were never contacted by the FBI to tell them it was classified.

    “Those particular paragraphs are based on nongovernment sources and do not claim to repeat or confirm any information from any government document. Even if those portions of our referral did reference the allegedly classified fact at issue, it is hard to understand why that fact should be classified.”

    Grassley said he is “pressing this issue” with Wray and hopes to be able to release the information “as soon as possible.”

    “Hiding from tough questions about these controversial cases is no way to reassure the public,” he said. “If the department is afraid of independent oversight, that just reinforces people’s suspicions and skepticism. The only real way to reassure people is to let the sun shine in and let the chips fall where they may.”

  8. DXer said

    Stupid question for RIID OPS: Did you also authorize release of the Ivins section? A FOIA exemption relating to national security would allow individual sentences to be redacted, for example, relating to the cancellation of the October 3, 2001 experiment if you like.

    There is also a classified memo at the center of the wrangling relating to the Russian investigation.

    Classified Memo, Missing Texts Are Latest Salvos As Parties War Over FBI
    January 24, 20185:01 AM ET
    Ryan Lucas

    The standard declassification process would involve sharing the document with the government agencies that own the classified information contained in the memo. Those agencies would review the material before its release.

    So far, at least, the FBI says it has not been allowed to see the document.

    “The FBI has requested to receive a copy of the memo in order to evaluate the information and take appropriate steps,” said FBI spokesman Andrew Ames. “To date, the request has been declined.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: