CIA Took Three Years To Reject FOIA Request For Criteria For Rejecting FOIA Requests

from the glomar-glomar-glomar dept

Curious about what criteria the CIA have for determining if they “can neither confirm nor deny” something? So did Jason Smathers, who back in 2010 filed one of MuckRock’s earliest requests for exactly that. Six years later, he still doesn’t know.

Smathers first filed in October 2010 – to the agency’s credit, they only took a mere two months to get back to him.

Which was followed by two and a half years of radio silence. A follow-up in June of 2013 was finally responded to with reassurances that the request was still processing … which apparently served as a reminder to the agency to finally send the rejection letter collecting dust in the corner.

Ultimately, the CIA cites no fewer than three separate exemptions, including what appears to be a “Schrödinger’s b(5),” all for what should be some basic FOIA processing manuals.

How do we know that? Well silver lining/insult to injury, Smathers filed the same request with the NSA, and though they too took three years to process it, they actually delivered.

But you know what they say – one agency’s basic documentation is another agency’s matter of national security. Not to mention a FOIA requester’s complete waste of time.

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Comments on “CIA Took Three Years To Reject FOIA Request For Criteria For Rejecting FOIA Requests”

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Skeeter says:

Unclassified but still Redacted

That’s hilarious, because in the end, one terrifically funny part was left off. The NSA-FOIA ‘conditions’ document, 22-pages, while it ‘sounds good’ that they provided it, if you notice on page 1 they have it marked ‘unclassified’, yet what do they start doing on page 2? IT’S REDACTED! (and it gets worse through the document as you go on).

The paradox, the sheer oxymoron of the FOIA terms of release of documents being sent out REDACTED says it all about the intelligence community.

Skeeter says:

Re: Re: Unclassified but still Redacted

You’re as funny as them, sure ‘Uncle-NSA’ doesn’t sign your paycheck?

Seriously, for those ‘not familiar with the classification system’, there is (or at least ‘was’) no directive, whatsoever, for redaction of documents that have not underwent purvue for the ‘classification’ process. I’m sure in our paradoxical nation (where we are now scared of our own shadow, meanwhile the other hand offers to give money and highly classified material to other nations ‘as a sign of good will’), this makes perfect logic – however, in reality, it’s kinda like teaching something to bark, before you validate that it’s a dog. About as humorous, too.

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