CIA Redacted 'Off The Record, No Comment' From Released Documents

from the huh? dept

Over at The Intercept, there’s an article claiming that the AP’s national security reporter Ken Dilanian had a too cozy relationship with the CIA while he was at the Tribune Company. It’s an interesting read, based on pages upon pages of emails between reporters and the CIA that were released under a FOIA request. However, what caught my attention, more than the full story, was something in all of those emails, spotted by Katherine Hawkins. And it’s that, on page 363, it seems clear that the CIA, when releasing these emails, redacted the line “Off the record, no comment.” It’s rather obvious, because Dilanian immediately repeats that line right back, somewhat angrily at the ridiculousness of it.

Rather than using the all purpose b(5) redaction, it appears that the CIA is claiming a b(3) and b(6) reason for this comment being “redacted” (even though they left it in in Dilanian’s reply). b(3) is for documents “specifically exempted from disclosure by statute” and b(6) is for documents “personnel and medical and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

I’m curious how “off the record, no comment” qualifies as either. It appears to be redactions for redactions’ sake.

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Comments on “CIA Redacted 'Off The Record, No Comment' From Released Documents”

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Ninja (profile) says:

I’m curious how “off the record, no comment” qualifies as either. It appears to be redactions for redactions’ sake.

They don’t line the sheets and spray black ink with a hose because it would be too blatant. Incidentally that’s why they pretend to follow some judicial orders.

At this point what prevents them from completely forging communications and other documents to release as FOIA responses anyway?

Anonymous Coward says:

Are you sure?

I suspect that “Off the record, no comment” isn’t what was actually said, but instead something like “Off the record, we have been told not to talk about X or acknowledge its existence” — which was then angrily summarized as “Off the record, no comment.”

The size of the redaction space kind of bears this out too.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Contempt of the people.

On the lower level, the redacting officer has been advised to over-redact than under-redact, so he’s covering his ass.

And then the upper level officer rubber stamps it nominal consideration.

On both levels: Contempt of the people. Why can’t they just trust us and let us do our jobs, those F[REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED]kwits?

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