posted on Nov, 24 2011 @ 03:32 PM
Originally posted by chunder
reply to post by Frank Warren
Even if sidestepping the national security threat issue there is still the "protection of identity and privacy" hurdle followed by the "denial of
Of that there is no doubt; to reiterate, I don't think "any petition," framed in anyway will garner the desired results; however, if one decides to
perform the exercise, it can be "optimized"; some of those suggestions I gave earlier.
I'm aware of the many previous attempts at obtaining an official response through official channels and feel that route is blocked and that
ultimately, whatever facts do exist, they will be held in an informal system anyway. Whilst FOI requests provide tantalising snippets it is only
through a significant whistleblower there will actually be any real info, and they have a habit of falling out of hospital windows but we live in
Documentary research is both tedious and enduring; positive results are returned in increments . . . much like pieces of a puzzle. Sometimes responses
from FOIA requests are fruitless for very mundane reasons; for example it could be the incompetence of an archivist, or just the simple fact that some
folks are better at their jobs then others.
Not too long ago I performed a FOIA via AFHRA (Air force Historical Research Agency) at Maxwell AFB; the reply was that "they did not possess what I
was looking for"; in my reply I explained to them that "they in fact DID
have what I was looking for" as they had already sent me part of it
in a larger report, which was why I knew how to ask the question to begin with.
This gave the archivist pause, and it was/is someone I have established a relationship over the years; she gave me food for thought that has stuck
with me ever since; in essence (ad-libbing) she observed that most often requesters are hunting for the "animal" and sometimes it might be better to
"find the trail" the animal leaves. In other words the military can't go to the Can without filling out a half a dozen papers or more to do it. The
animal may be elusive, but almost always "remnants" of it can be found.
With that in mind, I re-framed my request; in fact I made it specific to a "numbered form" from the War Department that was still being used in
1947. Now, I didn't end up getting everything I wanted but it was a far stretch from "zilch!'