Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #FOIA

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NEW #FOIA/Mueller thread

In response to my/@BuzzFeedNews FOIA lawsuit for every document Mueller's office collected during its probe, a DOJ atty made this extraordinary claim in court docs last night: THE APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF RESPONSIVE DOCS IS MORE THAN 19 BILLION PAGES

DOJ claims the FBI alone would have to process approximately 18 BILLION PAGES.

DOJ came up with this number by saying it would process records from 2300 media devices which have a combined storage capacity of 240 tb. If filled that's the equivalent of 18 BILLION pages.

While I have long dreamed about getting the govt to give me documents until long after I die this is ludicrous. We dispute DOJ's estimates.

DOJ is suggesting the number of responsive records Mueller collected is twice as large all records stored by the Library of Congress

Read 6 tweets
(1) Within an hour or two of sending out #FOIA requests, the federal #TwatWaffles geared up their attack.

First a DM from a French "Honey Pot," addressing me in French, claiming to be a "single" mother with a child.

She immediately asked me how old I was & where I was located.
(2) She also let me know that "Long distance relationships made her nervous."

Zero followers. Zero tweets. Zero retweets.

She was following quite a few people, who are being extra traditionally targeted by the US government, through #ThreatFusionCenters.
(3) Then a few hours ago, I received this request, from someone who is not showing any Twitter activity for more than a year.
Read 5 tweets
ICE discussed cutting off visitation programs at the for-profit migrant prison in Lumpkin, GA for "known adversary" @elrefugioga, one of the only service-oriented nonprofits in Stewart, as retaliation for holding a vigil remembering the life of Jean Jimenez #DetentionKills #FOIA
Here's the Significant Incident Report (SIR) ICE officials drafted and send to HQ about the memorials seeking #JusticeforJean:

And here's ICE officials sharing a screenshot of a web portal demonstrating that, despite at least a half-dozen supervisors responding to questions from ICE HQ about Jean's mental health status, his segregation logs DO NOT note his MH diagnoses or his prior suicide attempts.
Read 8 tweets
NEW #FOIA thread (for the natsec community)

5 years ago, I filed a #FOIA request with NSA for semiannual reports its internal watchdog sent to Congress dating ack 10 yrs.

I finally rec'd a nice cache of these reports. Here's why they are impt docs

The NSA, as many folks know, is an agency that conducts almost all of its work in secret. Almost everything is highly classified.

These reports provide enormous insight into what has taken place under the cover of secrecy over the years at the agency.

For example

The reports also lay bare issues the NSA had to contend with related to waste, fraud and abuse.

For example, the NSA IG investigated two employees for "misrepresentation before the government and misuse of government resources."

Read 7 tweets

Finally: images of Trinity Site & Trinitite coverage.

Link for records to up shortly.

I’ll post stuff I scanned today publicly for #FOIAFriday but Patrons get first look.

Enable my work:



Ever seen high-res aerial video of the Trinity Site post-detonation?

In color with the lake of Trinitite?

I'm betting not but thanks to #FOIA and my PhD research now you can!

You can enable my work

Trinity Site post-detonation #FOIA documents are up in my digital collection!

You can enable my work and research:
Read 8 tweets
#Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission, @NHRCTweets, a public body bound by the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), has in the past week ordered all its staff to sign & subscribe to forms of "Oath of Secrecy" - very much like a #SecretCult
Issued under directive of the Executive Secretary of @NhrcTweets, the #SecrecyOath applies to all staff of @NhrcTweets. The leadership of the Commission claims that the oath of Secrecy is required by Rule 62 of the Commission's Standing Orders & Rules of Procedure, #STORP
Contrary to the claims of the leadership of @NhrcTweets, however, the Standing Orders & Rules of Procedure, #STORP, of the Commission don't in any way support #SecrecyOaths. Quite clearly, the leadership have chosen to mis-represent the relevant rules of the #STORP
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Periodic reminder: No matter how bad you think it is, the stuff inside the government's records is worse than you think. #FOIA #LaterGram
It appears three Cuban nationals who were being imprisoned outside the El Paso PDN Border Patrol station that was the subject of an OIG management alert slit their wrists using the fencing of the station on THE EXACT SAME DAY OIG, ICE, and CBP were having a call about conditions.
A reminder of what these three Cuban men would have seen and experienced in the days, possibly weeks, before they attempted to harm themselves . . .
Read 5 tweets
NEW evening #FOIA thread

An impt #Guantanamo detainee related document I obtained via Mandatory Declassification Review I filed with DOD 7 YEARS AGO

This is a report about the mental health of detainees and the reliability of intel they provided to their captors

This particular report grew out of a prior DOD investigation into whether #Guantanamo detainees were given mind altering drugs to facilitate interrogations.

(@jeff_kaye broke that story open in 2012 based on a docs we obtained)

@jeff_kaye This investigation was conducted to
determine whether JTF GTMO intel reports included
information regarding the detainees' mental health status or their history of medication with substances and to determine the possible effect on finished intelligence.

Read 9 tweets
NEW via my #FOIA: Anatomy of a leak investigation

In 2013, @POGOBlog obtained a copy of a secret DOD IG report that probed the unauthorized disclosure of TS info to Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers

These 326 pgs lay bare DOD's efforts to catch the leaker…
@POGOBlog I NEED TO CLARIFY: This is DOD's efforts to catch the individual who leaked the report to
@POGOBlog NOT to the ZDT filmmakers.…
These documents includes transcripts of interviews with individuals suspected of leaking. Very rare to see documents like this released about government leak investigations.
Read 3 tweets
Here’s a new #FOIA doc obtained through @MuckRock about OIG’s El Paso Border Hold Stations Report:…

The things Border Patrol, Coast Guard, and DoD personnel told @DHSOIG investigators during spot visits are chilling.
Essentially, they admit the “humanitarian” problem with packing single adults into 80-degree hold rooms like sardines, but say if there’s not ICE detention or prosecution, the flows of migrants won’t decrease.

That means @DHSgov is using these conditions of confinement to deter
OIG also heard stories of BP agents moving up their retirement dates, seeking transfers to other agencies, having increased drinking, domestic violence, and financial problems because of the human toll seeing these atrocities is taking on front-line agents. #CloseTheCampsNow
Read 12 tweets
Ronald Harmon Brown. Aka Ron Brown. 👇🏻

1. @FBI vault release of Ronald Harmon Brown aka Ron Brown.
I’ll be highlighting details in this thread that stand out in this #FOIA release and then dig moar later. Already seeing 💥’s from previous digs standing out!
Read 10 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
From the archives: WH chief of staff John Kelly called Elizabeth Warren an “impolite arrogant woman” in a private email he exchanged with his top aide following a telephone conversation with her in which she criticized the Trump admin’s 2017 travel ban…
Warren called Trump’s travel ban illegal during a protest she attended soon after Trump issued the executive order at Logan International Airport in Boston, where a number of people were detained

Kelly, who at the time was DHS Secretary, sent the email to his aide who said this
After I obtained this email via #FOIA and published a story about it, Warren sent out a campaign fundraiser further taking Kelly to task over the administration's immigration policies and his remarks about her.
Read 3 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
We don't know why the feds just raided the 34th Ward office of Ald. Carrie Austin. But we know lots about Austin, who's been a member of the City Council for 25 years. Shall we go over some of that history? /1…
It could prove ironic Austin was one of the aldermen who expressed deep dismay at then-colleague Danny Solis when it was revealed earlier this year that he wore a wire on Ed Burke. "You just don't do that," Austin said, shaking her head /2…
Austin also was an unabashed defender of nepotism after I wrote this @Suntimes column about her hiring son Kenny as 34th Ward Streets and San ward sup. Problem was Kenny did not even have a valid driver's license - a requirement for the job 3/…
Read 15 tweets
NEW/THREAD: For 8 yrs, I've been receiving docs from FBI via #FOIA on Samir Khan, the US citizen & editor of AQ's magazine who was killed in a CIA drone strike w/radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

The latest cache, 457 pgs

These are impt docs

These docs show that Khan initially landed on FBI's radar because of incendiary posts he wrote on his blog about becoming a martyr, jihad and his desire to attack US troops.

It shows that FBI's response to Islamic terrorism in mid 2000s differs from domestic terrorism today

The FBI's concerns about Khan's blog posts led the bureau to conduct surveillance on him, interview his friends and former colleagues, in an effort to build a case where Khan could be prosecuted.

Read 5 tweets
To #Immigration journo twitter - If you're thinking about how to document the politicization and the abuses in the upcoming #ICEraids, here are a few #FOIA productions we got back in 2017 on the agency's #MuslimBan distraction raids in L.A. and Austin:…
One angle: Keep an eye on Administratively Uncontrolled Overtime:……
Read 7 tweets
THREAD related to the report that political appointees at DOI intervened and blocked the processing of #FOIA requests

@aweiss told me this involved one of mine from June 2018 & I just now confirmed w/DOI's #FOIA office that a #FOIA analyst was told not to process my request

@aweiss I have learned that the DOI #FOIA analyst has been pushing back on the directive from the supervisor not to process my request. This has been going on for a year. I was told that a search was already conducted for responsive documents and there were 55 results.

@aweiss What DOI is doing is violative of #FOIA. That they would do this knowing that I would sue and also litigate this as a pattern and practice issue is even more bizarre. 3/
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1. today it will be Julian #Assange vs USA, but essentially it will be Julian #Assange vs @cpsuk: it's the #CrownProsecutionService which is in charge of the extradition process
2. there are important things you need to know to assess where @cpsuk stands when it comes to Julian #Assange
3. as an investigative journo, I've spent the last 4 years in a litigation against @cpsuk to defend the right of the press to access the full docs on Julian #Assange using #FOIA to reconstruct his case FACTUALLY
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1. la 1a udienza di sostanza per l'estradizione di Julian #Assange negli USA è a minuti, vi spiego: sarà JA vs USA, l'autorità inglese che agirà per conto degli USA in Tribunale è il #CrownProsecutionService: è l'autorità che gestisce le estradizioni x la Giustizia di Sua Maestà
2. è cruciale capire che Julian #Assange NON è "accusato di spionaggio",è accusato ai sensi dell'#EspionageAct, che è la legge draconiana del 1917 pensata per punire i traditori della 1a Guerra Mondiale che passavano informazioni al nemico
3. l'#EspionageAct punisce QUALSIASI violazione nellla gestione delle informazioni e documenti segreti in modo draconiano, proprio come fosse un atto di spionaggio, senza alcuna possibilità di distinzione
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Why I love #FOIA

In 1981, Trump personally reached out to FBI proposing that FBI agents work undercover in a casino he was considering opening in AC

He initially contacted FBI “to express his reservations” about building a casino in Atlantic City.…
From FBI docs unearthed by @NatSecGeek

Circa 1981

“Trump stated in order to show that he was willing to fully cooperate with the FBI, he suggested that they use undercover Agents within the casino,” the memo said.

I wrote about this is in Jan 2017…

I obtained documents that reveal Trump called the FBI in 1982 during a dispute with the NYC Housing Commissioner, (whose life was threatened because he wouldn't grant Trump a $20M tax abatement for the construction of Trump Tower.)…
Read 3 tweets
@ProjectSouth & Yulio Castro’s widow sued ICE for illegally withholding #FOIA records about Yulio’s death after becoming ill at the Stewart Detention Center in GA.

Here’s Complaint, filed with @ashahshahani and her team and attorney Brian Spears:…
After filing suit, @ProjectSouth got the Detainee Death Report ICE has inexplicably failed to post to its website.

Here are some key points:
The review includes evidence of a practice of failing to comply with the Immigrant Health Services Corps (IHSC)’s guidelines for people suffering from hypertension.

It’s clear why: Doing so would trigger IHSC’s Special MedicalNeeds Patients Policy & increase cost of care.
Read 5 tweets
NEW from @a_cormier_ & me: DOJ responds to my/@BuzzFeedNews/@EPICprivacy's #FOIA lawsuit to unredact Mueller report. Govt says nothing else can be disclosed. But in a declaration, DOJ provided the MOST DETAILED info to date abt what's behind the black ink…
@a_cormier_ @BuzzFeedNews @EPICprivacy I have filed more than three dozen #FOIA requests with DOJ, FBI, NSA and @BuzzFeedNews I have filed 4 separate lawsuits to obtain all of the underlying documents that were used by Mueller to draft his report. Support our transparency efforts
@a_cormier_ @BuzzFeedNews @EPICprivacy DOJ disclosed that some of the redacted portions of Mueller's report concern “detailed explanations of the basis for the decisions made by the Special Counsel to pursue indictments in some instances, and not to pursue charges in others.”…
Read 4 tweets

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