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

Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of Information Act’

* the withholding of information by various federal agencies has led to many complaints; here are examples of information withheld by the FBI, NAS, EPA and FAA.

Posted by DXer on October 19, 2009

CASE CLOSEDCASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question “Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?” … click here to … buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED  …

“Responsible Americans who believe in holding our government accountable for its actions should read CASE CLOSED to be more informed of the facts of the case, regardless of whether they come to agree with the author’s theory. More investigation is needed.”

“You will not want to stop reading … Lew Weinstein addresses the 2001 anthrax case with the pen of a highly skilled investigator.”

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the withholding of information by various federal agencies

has led to many complaints; here are examples of information

withheld by the FBI, NAS, EPA and FAA

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It has become commonplace for the public to complain that federal agencies refuse to comply with FOIA requirements and other legitimate requests for information. How can a democracy work, critics say, when its government officials refuse to obey the law and provide the information essential to public debate?

The Amerithrax investigation is of course the prime concern of the CASE CLOSED blog, and many are frustrated that more information has not been forthcoming regarding this matter.

However, since it is the correct solution of Amerithrax that we all desire, perhaps the best approach is for everyone (the agencies and those requesting information) to conscientiously review the standards that control and apply them to the facts.

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Politicians charged with oversight are aghast when the FBI refuses to answer direct questions from Congressmen and Senators … see related post … * Sen. Grassley says he will hold nominees at the DOJ until he receives long overdue answers from the FBI

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I am frustrated when the FBI will not respond to my questions as to why the Amerithrax investigation is still open more than a year after the FBI accused Dr. Ivins of being the sole perpetrator and 3 months since they emphatically repeated that the closing of the case was imminent … see related post … * Is the FBI’s anthrax case ongoing or not? … I’ve been asking for two months … the FBI refuses to answer … here’s the email trail

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I am surprised when the NAS won’t even answer my questions regarding the basis for sequestering FBI-submitted documents in apparent violation of FOIA requirements … see related post … * It’s well past time for the NAS to be frank and honest about what it has agreed with the FBI regarding the sequestering of FBI-submitted documents in apparent violation of FOIA requirements

NOTE: the day after this post was published, the NAS reversed its previously stated position … see related post …

* the NAS will provide FBI-submitted documents and the NAS/FBI anthrax study contract

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In addition, DXer reports that the EPA refuses to waive the fee for FOIA documents he has requested, in apparent violation of its own policies and his plainly demonstrated commitment to disseminate the information to the public which was their basis for denying the request…

Fee Waivers and Reductions (from the EPA webpage):

  • The Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986 provides that documents shall be furnished without any charge or at a  reduced charge if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to general public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
  • A fee waiver or reduction of fees must be requested and justified by supporting documentation.  If you request a fee waiver, explain how the information will be used in the public interest and to what extent, if any, use of the information will be in your commercial interest.  Include statements on how you plan to disseminate the information, as well as your qualifications that are relevant to any specialized use of the documents.

DXer comments … This was a simple easy standard for the EPA to understand and apply.  Why should we expect the FBI to solve a difficult crime when FOIA officers cannot even comply with simple documents requests and apply simple standards?

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This frustration over not being provided information is not new, as evidenced by the FAA withholding from 9/11 Commission, as described in John Farmer’s new book GROUND TRUTH …

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tells the 9/11 Commission it has already given the Commission all the documents it asked the FAA for.
  • John Farmer, head of the Commission team investigating what happened on the day of 9/11, finds this hard to believe, as the boxes of material the FAA has provided do not contain many tapes or transcripts of FAA communications on the day of the attacks. [Shenon, 2008, pp. 201]
  • Later interviews of FAA staff will reveal there is a mountain of evidence the FAA is withholding from the  Commission (see September 2003).

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Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * NAS review of FBI science, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

* about FOIA

Posted by DXer on August 5, 2009

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

buy CC - why, who, readers

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  • signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 6, 1966 (Public Law 89-554, 80 Stat. 383; Amended 1996, 2002, 2007).
  • The act allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the U.S. Government.
  • The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants nine exemptions to the statute.

Scope

  • The act explicitly applies only to federal government agencies.

NOTE: there are also FOIA for some state governments

  • Along with making public and accessible all bureaucratic and technical procedures for applying for documents from that agency, agencies are also subject to penalties for hindering the process of a petition for information.

Exemptions

In 1976, Exemption 3 of the FOIA was amended so that several exemptions were specified:

1) information relating to national defense,

  • 2) related solely to internal personnel rules and practices,
  • 3) related to accusing a person of a crime,
  • 4) related to information where disclosure would constitute a breach of privacy,
  • 5) related to investigatory records where the information would harm the proceedings,
  • 6) related to information which would lead to financial speculation or endanger the stability of any financial institution, and
  • 7) related to the agency’s participation in legal proceedings.

read the entire Wikipedia article at … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Information_Act_(United_States)

see related post …

* DXer proposes … get those FOIA requests moving … and here’s how …

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

* new FOIA requests … 8-4-09

Posted by DXer on August 5, 2009

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

buy CC - why, who, readers

DXer has submitted the following FOIA Requests …

CDC … 8/4/09 … FOIARequests@cdc.gov … all documents that have already been processed for production in response to requests by other requesters relating to the anthrax mailings of Fall 2001, including but not limited to efforts to determine the extent of contamination.

DTRA … 8/4/09 … efoia@dtra.mil …  all documents in the possession of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency that have already been processed for production in response to requests by other requesters relating to the anthrax mailings of Fall 2001 and the ensuing investigation.

EPA … 8/4/09 …  hq.foia@epamail.epa.gov … all documents in the possession of the Environmental Protection Agency that have already been processed for production in response to requests by other requesters relating to the anthrax mailings of Fall 2001 and the ensuing investigation.

Homeland Security … 8/4/09 …  foia@dhs.gov … all documents in the possession of the Department of Homeland Security that have already been processed for production in response to requests by other requesters relating to the anthrax mailings of Fall 2001 and the ensuing investigation.

National Guard … 8/4/09 …  FOIA@ng.army.mil … all documents in the possession of the National Guard that have already been processed for production in response to requests by other requesters relating to the anthrax mailings of Fall 2001 and the ensuing investigation.

Navy … 8/4/09 …  foia@mail.navy.mil … all documents in the possession of the Navy that have already been processed for production in response to requests by other requesters relating to the anthrax mailings of Fall 2001 and the ensuing investigation.

… DXer has previously submitted FOIA requests to

  • Defense Intelligence Agency
  • USAMRIID
  • DARPA
  • Defense Security Service
  • U.S. Air Force
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • George Mason University
  • University of Michigan
  • State of Maryland
  • and others

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

* DXer proposes … get those FOIA requests moving … and here’s how …

Posted by DXer on August 4, 2009

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

buy CC - why, who, readers

DXer tells us all we need to know

about FOIA requests …

Former FBI agent/CIA lead WMD analyst Jennifer Smith was quite wonderful in her talk to the NAS panel.  She urged the NAS panel to press the FBI for documents.

Given the score of labs, both government and private, that helped the FBI, we should take Dr. Smith’s advice and press for documents.

We should then share the documents for efficiency’s sake and so as to avoid duplicative requests.

Perhaps the first request should be to the US DOJ to ask for a copy of all documents provided to the National Academies of Sciences.

LMW NOTE: In order to keep track, if you submit cc’s of your FOIA requests to the CASE CLOSED blog, I’ll figure out some way to keep them organized and updated.

Here is a list of US DOJ subcomponents to which FOI requests should be addressed.  It includes other agencies.
http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/04_4.html

Here are instructions for submitting DARPA FOIA requests online.
http://www.darpa.mil/foia.html

Don’t overlook state FOI statutes.  There are many state universities where labs are located that are subject to state FOI statutes for which the FOI Form Letter generator will quickly make your FOI request shine by referencing the particular state statutory provisions.

Here is FOIA Form Letter Generator
http://www.rcfp.org/foialetter/index.php

Here is the electronic form for DOE HQ.
http://management.energy.gov/FOIA/foia_request_form.htm

The email for the FOI officer for Sandia National Laboratories is FOIOfficer@doeal.gov

Here is the website where USAMRIID responses to date are located.
USAMRMC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/foia/index.cfm

The Army has done an excellent job in making the processed documents available at a central location.  Despite pressing them for the documents currently not produced, they are demonstrating through their actions how the Freedom of Information Act should work and deserve praise for their hard and conscientious work.

Search costs are avoidable if as a non-media requester you commit to sharing the documents and making them generally available.  Under the federal statute, the first 100 pages are free.  Beyond that, there is the cost of copying.  But to date the fee has been waived given the public interest in the matter.

For more from Dxer, check out his web site at …

http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »