- The reaction of the CIA to Wikileaks disclosures
- How the USG arrived at labeling Wikileaks a "Non-state Hostile Intelligence Service"
- The CIA reaction to the leaking of the Agency''s hacking tools - Vault 7 and Vault 8
The request conceivably covers more than a decade's worth of CIA internal email correspondence.
Thus far, and to no one's real surprise, the Agency has Stonewalled the FOIA request at every turn. Obviously, the CIA will closely guard it's secrets and withhold as much of the information as possible. Still, even with heavily redacted and sanitized releases from the request a significant amount of information could potentially be made public.
Correspondences with the Intelligence agency clearly indicate that there are more than "5,000 pages" of emails that could be made available in relation to Wikileaks.
Further comments made in the CIA's response, particularly the the suggestion that the information "is not in the public interest", suggests a high degree of reluctance in fulfilling the request by predetermining what is and what isn't in the public interest. By definition, a FOIA request is made by American citizens and members of the press who are expressly demonstrating said interest by filing a request in the first place.
The letter also declared that there was “a considerable amount” of emails “whose disclosure will not further the public’s understanding of the operations or activities of Government” and therefore “their disclosure is not in the public interest.”
Normally, fees associated with this type of FOIA request are waived. However, as the exchanges between the CIA and the Muckrock reported show, the Agency determined only a partial waiver of fees would be granted since a full waiver applies only to requests that are "in the public interest" and in the Agency infinite wisdom this request does not meet the criteria. Thus, only a partial fee waiver was warranted.
We have determined that you are not entitled to a waiver of fees for such records as their disclosure is not in the public interest.
As a result, Muckruck filed an appeal of the decision which argued that the Agency's determination was inconsistent with the facts and case law. Nevertheless, the appeal and four separate follow ups inquiring about the appeal were completely ignored by the CIA.
In the appeal dated January 3rd 2019, clarification on the Agency's "blanket statement" of "not in the public interest" used to justify the determination is challenged by Kel McLanahan.
Moreover, there is no basis in law for a demand for advance payment of fees based on a “partial” fee waiver when there is no evidence offered by the Agency that the release of any of the records would not serve the public interest other than a conclusory statement that such is the case. If the Agency wishes to provide more details about the particular records which would not meet the public interest test, I will be happy to appeal that assertion with particularity, but until then, the Agency has failed to provide any information sufficient to allow me to intelligently appeal this unsupported blanket argument that an unspecified number of records may exist in CIA records, the release of which would not be in the public interest (especially since there is informational value in knowing what information CIA is maintaining about WikiLeaks, regardless of whether the information has any additional intrinsic value to the public).
It goes on to cite numerous statements made by former CIA directors, including Mike Pompeo and Leon Panetta, concerning the significance of Wikileaks that clearly highlight why the information is in the public interest.
No response has been made by the CIA to the original appeal from January or to the follow-ups requesting acknowledgement of the appeal itself.
Suing the CIA and Crowdfund Request: Wikileaks Emails
CIA stonewalling has led to the launch of a lawsuit by Emma Best and Muckrock. They are suing the CIA for the release of the 5,000 pages of records relating to Wikileaks. Kel McClanahan of National Security Counselors has agreed to represent the plaintiffs in the case and will seek to recover his fees from the Agency at a later date.
A crowdfund was created to help pay for the actual costs of the request, filing fees, travel and other expenses.
If anyone is interested helping the organization sue the CIA, they can make a donation of $25.00 at muckrock.com
Judicial Watch Suing CIA
June 25h 2019
Judicial Watch has announced that they have filed a FOIA lawsuit against the CIA for the CIA Inspector General's 1996 report. The IG report in relation to the infamous Mena airport in Arkansas which is believed to be the site of a large scale operation involving drug-running, weapons smuggling and clandestine intelligence activities.
In November 1996, then-CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz absolved the CIA of involvement in the operation.
Hitz at the time said that “no evidence has been found to indicate that the CIA or anyone acting on its behalf participated in, or otherwise had knowledge of, any illegal or improper activities in Mena, Arkansas or the area north of Mena known as Nella, Arkansas.”
Investigative journalist Gary Webb, who wrote the ground breaking series "Dark Alliance", detailed the drugs-for-arms operation where weapons were being shipped to the Contra forces in Nicaragua while cocaine was being smuggled in the opposite direction into the United States in exchange. Webb's investigation showed that the operation was being conducted by the CIA and publishing the series ultimately led to Webb being "suicided".
The story goes much deeper with connections to drug-runner Barry Seal, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, the Medellin Cartel and the Iran Contra Scandal.
Must See - @corbettreport - Requiem for the Suicided