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US sets record for denying FOIA requests

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posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 12:09 PM
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No real big surprise here, but it does shed light on how removed Government wants to be from its' citizens. In a time when records amount of people are questioning their own government and knowing that much of what goes on behind closed doors is never spoke about by MSM and refuses to answer questions regarding a growing number of subjects. When the FOIA was introduced in 1967 citizens were able to request sealed government documents ranging all branches and affiliations the government is accountable for. It showed openess yet continues to be edited, redacted, stipulated, and altered to protect themselves as best as possible from revealing information considered a value to national security. Though this act does give a person the ability, with due diligence and patience to get ahold of documents previously unavailable, though it is still at the governments decision if they want to let the requested records out. They hold all the power over what is released and have made ammendments to the act numerous times, typically following important national events (Watergate, Drug War, 9/11, and Wall Street/SEC meltdown). The AP Source released today (3/18/15) following all requests made to 100 federal agencies for the 2014 year showed that


The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.
They are also very quick in response or dreadfully slow, which ever they see appropriate I presume.

The government said the average time it took to answer each records request ranged from one day to more than 2.5 years.
You will recieve your request 1-900 days later, that's a good time table, lol.

There were 714,231 FOIA requests in 2014. They responded to 647,142 requests. Yet had 200,000 unanswered requests backlogged at the end of the year. Im guessing the 200,000 isn't included in the 714k requests. But anyways, they also cut their workforce by about 10% from the year before (345 people).

It more than ever censored materials it turned over or fully denied access to them, in 250,581 cases or 39 percent of all requests. Sometimes, the government censored only a few words or an employee's phone number, but other times it completely marked out nearly every paragraph on pages. On 215,584 other occasions, the government said it couldn't find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the government determined the request to be unreasonable or improper.



Journalists and others who need information quickly to report breaking news fared worse than ever. Under the law, the U.S. is required to move urgent requests from journalists to the front of the line for a speedy answer if records will inform the public concerning an actual or alleged government activity. But the government now routinely denies such requests: Over six years, the number of requests granted speedy processing status fell from nearly half to fewer than 1 in 8. In January, the U.S. reminded agencies that it should carefully consider such "breaking news" requests. The CIA, at the center of so many headlines, has denied every such request the last two years.

If reporters are being denied constantly from recieving information regarding "breaking news" events, then it only makes sense that either the news will be quieted in full or be reported without any significant knowledge regarding the incident, thus reporting on hearsay. This cannot be a major surprise to noone, but it really reflects how broken this proccess is and methodically manipulated to keep the truth hidden.




posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: iDope

I'm sure it depends on who is requesting the information as well.

If you (or your organization's) name falls on a certain "list" I wouldn't be surprised of them refusing to provide information (or claiming "they cannot find it", etc.).

PS: Most of us on ATS would probably be included on some of those lists



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 12:25 PM
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(delete this comment)
edit on 18-3-2015 by FamCore because: double post



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 12:33 PM
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a reply to: iDope

Why be surprised?

There is no reason to do an FOIA request, we already have the most transparent government ever.

Just ask them, they will tell you.

It isn't like they had comps magically break when their data was requested by congressional investigators.

Or got caught breaking the law and refused to answer any questions during a gun running scheme.

Or had hi ranking people intentionally using private e mails for official business that is supposed to all be logged.

I mean, this gov is so obviously transparent they don't have any secrets to be requested about.




posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 12:43 PM
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Well, that's "The Most Transparent Administration in History" for you.



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 01:15 PM
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So not only has the Obama administration been the worse to whistle blowers but also to journalist. I wonder if they knew what they did now if they would have a change of heart in there support of him??



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 01:33 PM
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originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: iDope

I'm sure it depends on who is requesting the information as well.

If you (or your organization's) name falls on a certain "list" I wouldn't be surprised of them refusing to provide information (or claiming "they cannot find it", etc.).

PS: Most of us on ATS would probably be included on some of those lists


Wouldn't it be easy to be put on a "blacklist" of sorts? Just by asking for certain documents regarding a sensitive subject could easily get you on a list I sould suppose.



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 03:06 PM
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a reply to: iDope

Good point - I won't be requesting any documents anytime soon (even though I'm probably already on a number of lists because of the titles of the books I've bought anyway though)


But just wait until things like Minority Report's "Pre-Crime Unit" become reality. That's what I truly fear - arrests for acts people have not even committed



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 03:33 PM
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originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: iDope

Good point - I won't be requesting any documents anytime soon (even though I'm probably already on a number of lists because of the titles of the books I've bought anyway though)


But just wait until things like Minority Report's "Pre-Crime Unit" become reality. That's what I truly fear - arrests for acts people have not even committed



If and when pre-crime becomes task force on humanity's safety, would it not ake sense to have seperate prisons for those of though crimes and those that carried the task out? I think it will be very difficult to cut out crime altogether with pre-crime, as is shown in Minority Report, just due to the fact that some incidents of "crime" not necessarily just murder are spontaneous and not contemplated before they happen. Like a guy just walking down the street and sees a woman getting into her car and he decides to jump her and steal her car and purse. Things like that would be difficult to stop before they happened.

There would likley have to be a seperate type of criminal law as well, since there would be no physical evidence of a crime since it never happened. Somehow it would have to prove they were going to commit a crime before they were aprehended. But given our legal system today and imagining how it can only get worse or atleast for federalized and militarized at the state level, all judges will likely have to trust whatever precog information as proof of pre-crime in order to remain a criminal judge.

"Open up, Thought Police to ask some questions." knock..knock..no answer "Umm..Dan, this man's thinking about getting his gun from under his bed, kick it down." enter house. guy pooping on the toilet, shot in head. "Glad we got him before he could get that gun! Oh ya let's go get a gun from the trunk and do the standard."



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 04:34 PM
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At least we have a Freedom of Information Act.

Why not try this in another country say Russia.

Oh, that's right, they don't have one.

They would just ship you off to the Gulag.



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 04:41 PM
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a reply to: iDope

I guess you can add my name to the list of refusal to give the information. Twice mine was forwarded to the " Army Special Access Group" , only to be told by them that they refuse to answer any questions concerning (Edgewood Arsenal) from 1960 until the present the first time. The second time I even had a state senator ask them to release it which they then said they needed more time. It's been 6 months. I cannot discuss this any further due to a current claim filed with the VA. I will be posting a wild story when this is over that effected a lot of people. Edgewood arsenal is a nightmare military base.



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: MinangATS
Do we really have one, if requests can be ignored and information can be denied or redacted?



posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 03:38 AM
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But, I was promised the most transparent government ever? Maybe the problem is the documents are so transparent they could not be found?



posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 09:44 PM
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originally posted by: WTFover
a reply to: MinangATS
Do we really have one, if requests can be ignored and information can be denied or redacted?


It really should be called Freedom to Request Information Act. I'm sure the Government has trillions of documents and probably a terrible filing system with millions upon millions of misplaced or mislabeled documents. The FOIA was likely just a way to regather and classify information and let the public have some that was highly redacted/black lined.



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