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Monday, February 11, 2008

The Problem With FOIA exemplified in the documents linked here.

The link shows an FBI FD-302. I received two copies of the same document -- as part of the same FOIA release. Both copies are redacted. So what's the problem?

1. The first copy is much MORE redacted than the second copy, even though they were part of the same release and thus, in theory, subject to the same standards.

2. So what was so vitally important that it required redaction? Among the highly sensitive redactions I found this valuable piece of information: "MURAD was read his rights in English and stated that he understood." I defy anyone to tell me why that information should have been redacted.

3. So was their rationale? The exemptions claimed on the redacted copy include b6 and b7c, both "privacy" interests. How does it violate personal privacy to say that someone who is admittedly under indictment was read his rights? And since the rest of the document is exempted under b6 and b7c, it's tough to have any confidence that the rest of the censorship is any more valid than the clearly bogus application already exposed.


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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