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CIA Claims it Cannot Find its Own Declassification Regulations

[Editor's note 7/21/2013: At the time of this story, Kel McClanahan actually is the director of the non-profit law firm called National Security Counselors, NOT the National Security Archive. The original story appeared on the National Security Archive's website. We have updated the story with the correct attribution. We apologize for any confusion.]

Kel McClanahan of the non-profit law firm National Security Counselors submitted to the Central Intelligence Agency a Freedom of Information Act request for “the CIA’s copy of its new regulation 32 C.F.R. 1908.” This is a public document: a regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations. It is available, for example, here: 32 CFR 1908.

The CIA even has a copy of 32 CFR on its own website (though evidently not the current version!):

http://www.foia.cia.gov/32CFR.asp

http://www.foia.cia.gov/txt/32CFR.pdf

But the CIA responded to this request this way:

We did not locate any records responsive to your request… our searches were thorough and diligent, and it is highly unlikely that repeating those searches would change the result…

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