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View Full Version : OT Document Friday: "'Released in a Sanitized Form' … With a Twist."


Natedogg
03-19-2010, 09:12 AM
http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/document-friday-released-in-a-sanitized-form-with-a-twist/#more-1362

Here's the weekly blog post I do for the National Security Archive. This one is personal. It talks about one of my experiences requesting formerly secret documents.

Few things break a FOIA requester’s heart like tearing open an envelope from the CIA, seeing that they’ve released the document you requested, beginning to read it, and realizing that it’s been so heavily redacted that you can’t discern its content. This happened to me the other day. Today’s hot docs will show what I’m doing to remedy the situation.

Last year, I combed through Evan Thomas’s history of the CIA entitled The Very Best Men. It’s a pretty fluid and fun read, but what makes the book really interesting to historians is that the CIA granted Thomas limited but unprecedented access to its records while he was writing. I used the works he cited as leads to fire off some Mandatory Declassification Review requests to the CIA. (Click here to see when to use MDR and when to use FOIA.) Here’s one below:


Click the link for the actual documents and rest of the story.

http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/document-friday-released-in-a-sanitized-form-with-a-twist/#more-1362

INbronco
03-19-2010, 10:20 AM
You better have a watchdog apparatus in place in case you suddenly disappear from the face of the earth. Watchdog should email appropriate individuals unless you reset it at periodic intervals. Good luck with your investigations!!

Natedogg
03-19-2010, 11:14 AM
You better have a watchdog apparatus in place in case you suddenly disappear from the face of the earth. Watchdog should email appropriate individuals unless you reset it at periodic intervals. Good luck with your investigations!!

Ha Ha! Until then I'll keep on fight to "pierce the self-serving veil of government secrecy."

watermock
03-19-2010, 11:36 AM
jesus, I got pinged like hell.

Garcia Bronco
03-19-2010, 11:52 AM
They'll never give you the truth until you wrestle it from their cold dead hands. So what's the point?

Natedogg
03-19-2010, 12:02 PM
They'll never give you the truth until you wrestle it from their cold dead hands. So what's the point?

Feels better to keep fighting than to give up. :thumbs:

Natedogg
03-19-2010, 12:06 PM
jesus, I got pinged like hell.

Me too.
:wiggle:

Garcia Bronco
03-19-2010, 12:14 PM
Feels better to keep fighting than to give up. :thumbs:

I didn't say give up, but more or less to pick and choose you battles, and fighting the CIA for information is fruitless exercise.

Natedogg
03-19-2010, 12:17 PM
I didn't say give up, but more or less to pick and choose you battles, and fighting the CIA for information is fruitless exercise.

Fair point. The Nat Sec Archive is very good at choosing battles. But the CIA is governed by the same laws as all the other agencies. Even if they are bigger jerks at first, they are held to the same level of accountability by the appeals process.

I'm irked, and I am going to take this one all the way, and I'm pretty damn sure I'll win. :thumbsup:

tsiguy96
03-19-2010, 12:18 PM
you work at GWU?

Garcia Bronco
03-19-2010, 12:26 PM
Good luck then. I hope you succeed. The CIA should be disbanded

Natedogg
03-19-2010, 12:28 PM
you work at GWU?

Its an independent organization but gwu gives us our office space.

Kinda a bizzare set up.

Natedogg
03-19-2010, 12:29 PM
Good luck then. I hope you succeed. The CIA should be disbanded

thx. they have done some dumb **** indeed.

Cito Pelon
03-19-2010, 12:52 PM
I love ya, Nate, but i'm not gonna click on your links.

baja
03-19-2010, 12:54 PM
Feels better to keep fighting than to give up. :thumbs:

Leave me alone I don't know this guy. Really!

broncocalijohn
03-19-2010, 01:03 PM
I love ya, Nate, but i'm not gonna click on your links.

we do and the CIA will be giving us a visit or ask to be friends on Facebook! You working with Gaffney on any of this Nate?

Beantown Bronco
03-19-2010, 01:26 PM
You don't drive a cab by any chance, do you?

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/lwKMxwKQjR4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/lwKMxwKQjR4&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

baja
03-19-2010, 01:37 PM
That was a good movie

baja
03-19-2010, 01:38 PM
Have you ever thought about the word "movie" What a strange word to describe a film. Why not "Talkie"?

Natedogg
03-19-2010, 01:45 PM
I know its all in good fun. But the National Security Archive is actually a very respected organization. Its been open for 25 years. (Cut its teeth during Iran Contra.)

Senator Chuck Grassley (R) actually lauded us on the Senate floor yesterday.

Here's our Mission Statement (so you don't have to click!!)

About the National Security Archive An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. The Archive won the 1999 George Polk Award, one of U.S. journalism's most prestigious prizes, for--in the words of the citation--"piercing the self-serving veils of government secrecy, guiding journalists in the search for the truth and informing us all."
The Archive obtains its materials through a variety of methods, including the Freedom of Information act, Mandatory Declassification Review, presidential paper collections, congressional records, and court testimony. Archive staff members systematically track U.S. government agencies and federal records repositories for documents that either have never been released before, or that help to shed light on the decision-making process of the U.S. government and provide the historical context underlying those decisions.
The Archive regularly publishes portions of its collections on microfiche, the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, and in books. The Washington Journalism Review called these publications, collectively totaling more than 500,000 pages, "a state-of-the-art index to history." The Archive's World Wide Web site, www.nsarchive.org (http://www.nsarchive.org), has won numerous awards, including USA Today's "Hot Site" designation.
As a part of its mission to broaden access to the historical record, the Archive is also a leading advocate and user of the Freedom of Information Act. Precedent-setting Archive lawsuits have brought into the public domain new materials on the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Iran-Contra Affair, and other issues that have changed the way scholars interpret those events. The Archive spearheaded the groundbreaking legal effort to preserve millions of pages of White House e-mail records that were created during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations.
The Archive's mission of guaranteeing the public's right to know extends to other countries outside the United States. The organization is currently involved in efforts to sponsor freedom of information legislation in the nations of Central Europe, Central and South America and elsewhere, and is committed to finding ways to provide technical and other services that will allow archives and libraries overseas to introduce appropriate records management systems into their respective institutions.
The Archive's $2.5 million yearly budget comes from publication revenues, contributions from individuals and grants from foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. As a matter of policy, the Archive seeks no U.S. government funding.
For further information contact Thomas S. Blanton, Executive Director of the National Security Archive.
To use the Archive's collections, search www.nsarchive.org (http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/search.html), visit our reading room at George Washington University's Gelman Library, or ask your university or public library to subscribe to the Digital National Security Archive published by ProQuest/Chadwyck-Healey.


http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/the_archive.html

Cito Pelon
03-19-2010, 08:21 PM
Have you ever thought about the word "movie" What a strange word to describe a film. Why not "Talkie"?

They were called talkies 'round about the time you were born. I thought it was short-term memory one loses when they start the decline . . . . . ;D